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THE 

STRAND 



MAGAZINE 



An Illustrated Monthly 




Vol. LXIV 
JULY TO DECEMBER 



Xonoon : 

GEORGE NEWNES, LTD., 8— n, SOUTHAMPTON STREET. AND EXETER 

STREET. STRAND 



1922 

^^ UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



4- n-/f&3 



INDEX. 



PAGIC 

ACROSTICS 1 3,107, 242, 336, 404, 5 19 

AFTER DARK Bertram Atkey. 531 

Illustrations by Howard Elcock. 

ANAGRAMS, AN EXERCISE IN 421,569 

ANIMALS AS MOTHERS . . ' J. Arthur Thomson, M.A., LL.D. 16 

Illustrations by A. G. Small, and from Photographs. 

BARBARA GETS BUSY Reeves Shaw. 82 

Illustrations by Howard K. Elcock. 

BERTIE CHANGES HIS MIND P. G. Wodehouse. 116 

Illustrations by A. Wallis Mills. 

BEWILDERING EGG, THE Brentwood Arley. 599 

Illustrations by Lawson Wood. 

BILLY BONES A. Conan Doyle. 544 

Illustrations by Tom Peddie. 

BINGO AND THE LITTLE WOMAN P. G. Wodehouse. 440 

Illustrations by A. Wallis Mills. 

BOLSHEVIST ANTI-CHRISTMAS PLOTS, SOME W. Heath Robinson. 570 

CHINESE HORSES EughWalpole. 582 

Illustrations by E. G. Oakdale. 

CHINESE SCREEN, ON A W . Somerset Maugham. 337 

Illustrations by Cyril Holloway. 

CHOPIN AND THE MAZURKA IN B MINOR Mark Hambourg. 418 

Illustrations from an Old Print and Facsimiles. 

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE Edgar Wallace. 142 

Illustrations by E. Verpilleux. 

DEAL IN EXCHANGE, A Perceval Gibbon. 413 

Illustrations by S. Abbey. 

DELAYED EXIT OF CLAUDE AND EUSTACE, THE P.G. Wodehouse. 369 

Illustrations by A. Wallis Milk. 

DICKENS'S, CHARLES, FIRST LOVE B W.Matz. 514 

As Revealed in His Letters, now First Published. 
Illustrations from Photographs. 

DRUM, THE F. Britten Austin. 609 

Illustrations by S. Seymour Lucas. 

" E. & O. E." Eliot CrawshayWilliams. 1 74 

Illustrations from Photographs. 

ECCENTRIC BURGLAR, THE James Hart. 33 

Illustrations by S. Abbey. 

EDISON'S VIEWS UPON VITAL HUMAN PROBLEMS .. .. An Intennew by Shaw Desmond. 155 
Illustrations from Photographs. 

^S. "TOPPIE" .. .. Sidney Dark. 187 

Tan Who Photographs the News. 
istrations from Photographs. 

™^' UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



INDEX. «*• 

rAGK 

FIFTH BANDIT, THE Harold Steeuens. 125 

Illustrations by W. Smithson Broadhead. 
FILM THAT WAS NEVER SHOWN, THE H. C. MtNeile (" Sapper "). 5<>4 

Illustrations by J. Dewar Mills. 

GAME AND SETT Ole Luk-Oie. 271 

Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott. 
GIBSON AND THE BLUE EMERALD Denis Mackail 195 

Illustrations by F. Gillett, R.I. 
GIBSON AND THE SPECIALIST Denis Mackail 35 1 

Illustrations by Frank Gillett, R.L 

GOLF, AQUATIC . . . . , W. Heath Robinson. 65 

GREATEST MEN IN HISTORY, H. G. WELLS ON THE SIX. An Interview by Bruce Barton. 214 

Illustrations from Old Prints and Photographs. 

GREATEST MEN IN HISTORY, THE SIX: A Symposium by Well-Known Men .. .. 361,434 
Illustrations from Photographs. 

HIS BROTHER'S KEEPER W.W. Jacobs. 561 

Illustrations by S. Seymour Lucas. 

HORACE J.H.W. Knight-Bruce. 150 

Illustrations by A. T. Smith. 

LADY CYNTHIA AND THE HERMIT H. C. McNeile (" Sapper"). 99 

Illustrations by W. E. Webster. 

"LIBERRY, THE" Jan Hay. 293 

Illustrations by W. Hatherell, R.L 

LIFE, HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF Arnold Bennett. 

The Business of Education 40 

Starting in Life . . 108 

Illustrations by George Morrow. 

Falling in Love 243 

Marriage 306 

Marriage— Part II 450 

Illustrations by A. K. Macdonald. 

LOVEDAY'S SECRET L. J. Beeston. 344 

Illustrations by John Campbell. 

LOVELY LITTLE DINNER, THE /. /. BeU. 398 

Illustrations by P. B. Hickling. 

MAGIC PLUS FOURS, THE P. G. Wodehmse. 520 

Illustrations by J. H. Thorpe. 

MATCH TRICK IN THE WORLD, THE BEST 622 

Illustrations from Photographs. 

METROPOLITAN TOUCH, THE P. G. Wodehmse. 260 

Illustrations by A. Wallis Mills. 

MISS BRACEGIRDLE DOES HER DUTY Stacy Auntonier. 205 

Illustrations by S. Seymour Lucas. 

MUSTARD-POT— BAILIFFSMAN Gilbert Frankau 3 

MUSTARD-POT— HUNTSMAN .. .. Gilbert Frankau. 221 

MUSTARD-POT— DUELLIST Gilbert Frankau. 573 

Illustrations by Gilbert Holiday. 

" NOW THEN, SMITH ! " A. Conan Doyle. 14 

Illustration by E. G. Oakdale. 

OCTAVE OF JEALOUSY, THE Stacy Autnonier. 422 

Illustrations by F. Gillett, R.L 

ON A XSLTcHi.o.w MainKHfem-*^- *, 

nJ & K UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



421768 



INDEX. 



PAGK 

Max Pemberton. 623 



Augustus Muir 49 

Henry E. Dudeney, 48, 186, 290, 368, 439, 621 



PEARS, THE HOUSE OF 

Illustrations from Paintings and Photographs. 

PECK OF TROUBLE. A , .. 

Illustrations by Frank Gillett, R.I. 

PERPLEXITIES 

Illustrations from Diagrams. 

PRINCE, PAINTING THE : A Symposium of Well-Known Artists 550 

Illustrations from Paintings. 

PURITY OF THE TURF. THE P. G. Wodehouse. 23 

Illustrations by A. Wallis Mills. 

PUZZLES, A BUDGET OF CHRISTMAS Henry E. Dudeney. 619 

Illustrations by G. P. Carruthers, and from Diagrams. 



REMINISCENCES AND INTERVIEWS 

Edison, Thomas A 

Edwards. "Toppie" 

Thorndike. Sybil 

Wells, H. G 

RESTITUTION 

Illustrations by II. Coller. 

ROOM OF THE SECRET, THE. A Complete Short Novel . . 
Illust rations by Howard K. Elcock. 

ROUGH LITTLE GIRL AND THE SMOOTH LITTLE GIRL, THE 
Illustrations by Frank Gillett, R.I. 



155 

187 

405 

214 

H, A. VachelL 391 



Mrs. C. N.' Williamson. 458 
A. S. M. Hutchinson. 489 



SHERLOCK HOLMES IN REAL LIFE 
Illustrations by Howard K. Elcock. 

SINISTER QUEST OF NORMAN GREYES, THE 

VIIL— The Unfamiliar Triangle 
IX.— Michael's Wedding Gift 
X. — The Mystery Advertisement 

XL— The Great Elusion 

Illustrations by Charles Crombie. 

"S.O.S." 

Illustrations by E. S. Hodgson. 

STAGE ASIDES 

Illustrations from Photographs. 



By a Barrister and ex-Official of New Scotland Yard. 282 

E. Phillips Oppenheim. 



69 

163 

250 

324 

F. Britten Austin. 313 

Sybil Thorndike. 405 



TENNIS TIPS 

Illustrations from Photographs. 



By the Leading Players. 135 



WAS HE JUSTIFIED? .. 

Illustrations by John Campbell. 

WAXWORKS: A MYSTERY 

Illustrations by E. G. Oakdale. 

WHEN X EQUALS MAUD 

Illustrations by Balliol Salmon. 

WIRELESS UP-TO-DATE .. 

Illustrations from Photographs. 



Austin Philips. 379 

W. L. George. 58 

Herbert Shaw. 231 

R. W. Hallows. 91 



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AN AVALANCHE OF YELLOW HORSEFLESH, WITH A WHITE-FACED MAN 
ATOP OF IT, CAME HURTLING FOR THE BROOK. 



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(Seepage i 3 .> UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



MUSTARD -POT 

BAILIFFSMAN 





M 



GILBERT 
FRANKAU 



G/LBBRTJ/QUDAY 



I. 
\Y main difficulty 

in reducing to 

the language of 

two- legged 
humans those many 
stories which Vic. 
Lomondham's gigantic 
gelding snuffles into my 
receptive ears is the fact 
that Mustard-Pot, un- 
like the grey mare, his 

grazing companion, is somewhat apt — for 
reasons, it seems scarcely necessary to specify 
— to give me but the vaguest hint of the 
•' love-interest." Moreover — though this is 
hardly Mustard-Pot's fault, since in that 
particular section of fox-hunting England 
where his days are passed the credit-system- 
still flourishes like wicked women or green 
bay-trees — Mustard-Pot's ideas about money 
are so vague that when, as in the tale now to 
be presented, finance plays a part in the plot, 
I have to fill in largeish gaps purely and solely 
from my own very moderate imagination. 

Which two points having been made clear, 
I trust that — should it by any chance come 
before their eyes— both my Lord Pickworth 
and his Lady, nSe Marigold Somerby, not to 
mention my friends, the Niggintons, whose 
management of the Horn and Holla at 
Rorkton is a model of what hotel-keeping 
ought .to be but vefy rarely is, will pardon 
any misstatements, overstatements, or under- 
statements which may perchance have crept 
into this more or less veracious narrative. 

II. 

IN the year of Democratic Grace 192 — , 
Lord Pickworth (Pickie to his intimates) 
was somewhat of an anachronism, being 
far more akin to that " slap-up Meltonian," 
his lamented grand-uncle, of whom you will 
find mention in various indiscreet chronicles 
of the pre- Victorian port-wine-and-pugilism 
period, than to his lamentable father, the 
eighth Earl of Knossington, whose lamenta- 
bihty consisted mainly in a definite refusal 

VoL Ixiv.— 1, Copyright, 1922, by Gilbert Frankau in the U.S. A. 



to regard Pickie 's 
allowance as a sum 
to be increased by 
" supplementary esti- 
mates " after 4 the 
manner of post - war 
Governmental expendi- 
ture. ' 

On an evening in 

early March, when 

mating foxes make 

tremendous points and 

mating fox-hunters tremendous resolutions 

to " marry the girl as soon as ever the season 

finishes," Pickie— a jazz-striped silken 

dressing-gown swathed negligently about his 

long, lean body — lay considering this parental 

lamentability from every angle known to 

hard-up youth. 

" Says he won't part with a bean," mused 
Pickie, wrinkling up his long, lean, clean- 
shaven face till he looked like a laughing 
fox-terrier. " Says he won't part with an 
oat, let alone a bean," mused Pickie, running 
his long, lean fingers through his newly- 
bathed reddish hair till it looked like an 
O-Cedar mop in a thunderstorm. " Sugar 
it all, he must part with enough to let me 
pay old • Nigginton and get the gee-gees out 
of pawn," mused Pickie, screwing up his 
pale-lashed eyelids till he looked like a 
Chinaman calculating the odds on one, two, 
three, or four rice-grains remaining from the 
pile at the fan-tan table. "Because if he 
don't it's good-byee to little Marigold and 
me settling down to do the virtuous mater- 
and-paterfamilias on little Marigold's half- 
million," mused Pickie, throwing himself 
back full-length on the very best of Mrs. 
Nigginton 's sofas till the said sofa— Pickie, 
as already indicated, was of some considerable 
length — looked like a diminutive settee. 

Musing, however, was not much in Pickie's 
line ; and after an unprofitable ten minutes 
of it, he rose up from the sofa ; glanced 
irresolutely round the tasteful sitting-room ; 
took a spill from the mantelpiece ; lit it at 
the glowing fire ; lit the gas (we have no 

All rights reserved. 



Mustard-Pot- — Bailiff sman 



electric-light in Rorkton) ; and rang the 
bell. 

" Mary," said the vision in the silken 
dressing-gown and red morocco slippers to 
the cap-and-aproned maid who answered his 
ringing ; " Mary, as a devout Church woman 
will you give me your solemn word that 
Mrs. Nigginton still refuses to part with a 
miserable twelve-and-sixpennorth of whisky 
unless I give you the cash f or it ? " 

" M'lord," stammered the unfortunate 
Mary, " m'lord, I'm sure / don't know. 
Mrs. Nigginton said — she said — that if your 
lordship " 

" Enough, Mary, enough ! " The mantle of 
the legislator Knossingtons descended heavily 
on Pickie 's jazz-striped shoulders. M Please 
tell Mister Nigginton that 1 wish to see him 
immediately." 

The servant fled ; and after a little while 
the discreetest of knocks announced the 
proprietor of the Horn and Holla. 

" Come in, Nigginton," shouted Pickie. 

There entered a meek little middle-aged 
individual, .sometime stable-boy and there- 
after stud-groom, with a complexion like* a 
stored apple, a ragged brown moustache* the 
waistcoat of a licensed victualler, and tweed 
trousers so cunningly cut as to conceal at 
least half of th£ bow in Nigginton 's iegs. 

" You sent for me, m'lord," murmured this 
individual, closing' the door noiselessly 
behind him. 

" I did, Nigginton, I did. Take a pew and 
have a cigarette. Can't offer you a drink, 
I'm afraid." And Pickie, straddling one of 
Mrs. NiggiHton> very best Chippendale 
chairs, plunged without delay into the heart 
of Prohibition. 

" Look here, Nigginton," said Pickie, 
" what I want to know is this : Do you 
think a man can live without whisky ? "• 

" Well, m'lord "—the proprietor of the 
Horn and Holla, gave vent to a deprecatory 
cough — " it certainly is difficult. But things 
being as they are with your account " 

" Never mind my account. , That'll get 
itself settled somehow or other. Besides, 
the account can wait — my thirst can't." 

"I quite realize that, m'lord; and if I 
may make so bold I'd very much appreciate 
the opportunity of sending your lordship up 
a bottle of whisky, not as a matter of business 
but with the compliments of the house." 

".Compliments of the house ! " Pickie 's 
stare was sheer outraged aristocracy. " What 
the ^evil do you mean, Nigginton ? " 

"Well, m'lord" — Nigginton shifted uneasily 
on his chair — *' you see, m'lord, this trouble 
about the account, if I may make so bold as 
to bother your lordship with my private 
affairs, is none of my making. It's Mrs. 
Nigginton, m'lord. You'll understand, the 
hotel being so to speak her property, it 



having been left to her by her father, Mrs. 
Nigginton has always insisted on looking 
after the — er — credit side of things herself. 
Consequently, she having found out that 
your lordship — if you'll excuse me for saying 
so, m'lord — owes rather a lot of money 
round and about Rorkton, Mrs. Nigginton 
decided " 

" To lock up my gee-gees in those rotten 
loose-boxes you rook me a liver a week for ; 
not to let me have a few quid out of th^ till 
if I happen to be short of change; and" — 
Pickie flung his cigarette into the spotless 
grate — " and, Nigginton, to tell her servants 
to refuse me a trivial twelve-and-sixpennorth 
of Johnny Walker." 

He rose from his chair and began to pace, 
languidly graceful, up and down the sitting- 
room. 

'• It's an outrage, Nigginton," he continued. 
" A damned outrage. But as it's not your 
fault " 

The unfinished sentence implied a whole 
cellarful of soothed _ dignity ; and Mrs. 
Nigginton 's husband, quick to perceive his 
advantage, rang the bell for Mary, to whom 
— in the lowered voice of the perpetually 
henpecked — he confided three hurried }Sen- t 
tences and the bunch of keys which issued, 
jingling from his capacious pockets. r 

"Pre-war, m'lord," announced Mrs. Nig-. 
ginton's husband when, some ten minutes 
later, the pair of them resumed their seats, 
at the daffodil-decorated table. 

" Very grateful," decided Pickie, putting 
down his empty glass. " Very grateful and 
most comforting." Then, pouring himself 
and his guest yet another three fingers : 
" Pity about your wife, ain't it, Nigginton ? " 

" But, m'lord— but really, m'lord "—the 
meek little man flushed — *' seven hundred 
pounds, if your lordship will r excuse the 
liberty, is rather a tidy lot of credit for one 
gentleman, even in these days.. And then, 
what with your lordship still owing me for 
those two horses I sold you, and still owing 
young Grimes for the three horses he sold 
you, to say nothing of the various other 
little accounts which your lordship owes 
round and about Rorkton— — " 

" I shouldn't worry about the other little 
accounts if I were you, Nigginton. You've 
got the gee-gees, and though they may not 
be worth; seven hundred " 

" They aren't, m'lord,'' retorted Nigginton, 
truthfully. " Apd that's why Mrs. Nigginton 
says that unless and until she gets at least a 
couple of hundred on account I'm not to let 
a single one of them go out of the stables — 
except for exjereise, and th$t then I've got 
to go with then*, myself." 

Pickie, despite his vexation, could not. 
prevent a smile. After all, it w&s comic — 
that is to say, it would have been- comic if 

"IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 




• • ■ --^i • ^- 



Google 



He confided three hurried sentences and 

the bunch of keys which issued jingling 

from V\t csipac'ous pockets. 

UN I VERS I TY OF M I CHKJAH 



Mustard-Pot — Bailiff sman 



it had happened to anyone other than one- 
self — for a man to have half-a-dozen first-rate 
if somewhat green nags, to say nothing of a 
stud-groom, a groom, and a "help," baited 
and boarded in the cream of the Shires, 
without being able, unless one borrowed a 
ride from one's pals, to do a single day's fox- 
hunting. 

" What I don't understand, Nigginton," 
he said, at last, " is why your better-half 
should have suddenly made up her mind 
that she ain't going to be paid. I've been 
down here since November, and this is the 
first time there's been any question about 
payment." 

Nigginton, the stored apple of his face 
turning tomato before Pickie 's astonished 
eyes, did his best to shirk the question ; but 
after some fencing, and a third three fingers 
from the pre-war bottle, he managed to 
stammer a diffident, " Well, m'lord — if your 
lordship will pardon my boldness — Mrs. 
Nigginton having heard rumours of your 
lordship's being engaged to many a certain 
young lady " 

Whereupon the Earl of Knossington's 
second son, with an abrupt reversion to 
dignity upon which even his father could not 
have improved, dismissed Nigginton, and 
retired to dress for dinner. 

Dressing, his anger against the innkeeper 
evaporated. Dressed and strolling along 
Titmuss Street to dine with the Somerbys, 
various lines from that fox-hunter's master- 
piece, " Loseby Hall " (Pickie didn't know 
they were a parody of " Locksley Hall," a 
poem of which hfe had never heard), floated 
vaguely through his mind. 

M There my heart shall beat no longer with my 

passion* s foolish throbs, 
I will wed some vulgar woman. She shall 

rear my race of snobs. 
Doable-jointed, mutton- fisted, they shall run 

but they sha'n't ride, 
Hunting with the York and Ainsty or the 

Harriers of Brookside." 

" Rather neat, that," mused Pickie. 
Then :— 

" Tied to one perpetual woman — what to me 

were soil or clime ? 
I who never could endure the same for ten 

days at a time. 
I who held it better to pursue the patriarchal 

plan 
Than tamely to submit to a monopoly of man . " 

" Very neat, that," mused Pickie. " Devil- 
ish applicable — in a way." 

All the same, the poem didn't apply to 
Marigold. Marigold wasn't " vulgar," or 
" mutton-fisted," or " double- join ted." Mari- 
gold was rather a "topper." In fact,. if it 



hadn't been that one didn't intend being 
forced into marrying her just because old 
Cuthbert Somerby had half a million and only 

one daughter At which precise point 

in his musings Pickie recollected that the 
wedding-boot, Marigold having refused him 
at least once, and if one counted that time 
at the Ball twice, was very much on the other 
leg — a recollection brought home to him 
with some force when, thoroughly stirred by 
three glasses of Sir Cuthbert 's Bollinger, and 
two of Sir Cuthbert's Cockburn, he found 
himself gazing into the minxish brown eyes 
of Sir Cuthbert's daughter as they practised 
the new tango on Sir Cuthbert's parquetry. 

No ! Marigold certainly did not resemble 
the mythical woman in " Loseby Hall." She 
was a thoroughbred, every inch of her, from 
the bobbed brown hair which curled so be- 
witchingly above her strong white nape to 
the slim, white-stockinged feet which tripped 
it so entrancingly over her father's floor. 
Item, she possessed the reddest, wilfullest 
mouth, the complexion of a peach, and a 

figure But Pickie couldn't find any 

simile for Marigold's figure ; he could only 
guide it, gracefully and gratefully, up and 
down the long drawing-room. 

The gramophone to which they had been 
practising in solitude stopped with a grinding 
scrape ; and Marigold's figure slipped from 
his grasp. 

'* I say," he said, pursuing her to the instru- 
ment, " let's try that one over again. Jolly 
tune, I think." 

" Do you, Pickie ? Well, I don't. I think 
it's rotten." She took off the record, and 
closed the case. " Besides, I'm going to 
bed." 

" Going to bed ? Why, it isn't eleven 
yet." 

" / want to be fit for to-morrow." She 
faced him, still flushed from her dancing, 
one hand at her hip. '■* The pater's going to 
let me ride Daredevil. You're expected to 
perform the office of pilot and all that sort 
of thing." 

' I ? " Pickie, too, flushed— though not 
from dancing. 

" Even so. You and no other. I meant 
to break the good news to you over dinner. 
And the Lord help you if you take a toss, 
Pickie — for if I don't jump on top of you it 
won't be Daredevil's fault." 

" All nonsense your riding that brute," 
began a despairing anachronism. " Utter 
nonsense. He pulls like a steam-engine. 
He'll pull your aims out. He'll " 

" Oh, no, he won't, not with an Eglinton 
Pelham." 

" Eglinton Pelham ! " For a second Pickie 
forgot his troubles. " Who the deuce told 
you to ride him in an Eglinton Pelham ? 
What Daredevil wants is a gag." 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHI- 



Gilbert Frankau 



They spatted amiably about the principles 
of bitting till Marigold yielded. 

" All right," pouted Marigold. " I'll ride 
him in a gag if you say so. And you'll have 
to pick up the pieces if he gets away with me. 
By the way, what fiery steed are you going 
to bestride ? " 

" Well — to tell you the truth," began 
Pickie ; but since the truth seemed some- 
what too embarrassing, he continued, "I'd 
rather been thinking it was about time my 
nags got a rest. What I mean is, I'd rather 
been considering whether it wouldn't be as 
well if I didn't hunt to-morrow." 

" Didn't hunt ! " Marigold's brown eyes 
glinted. " In March — when every day's 
precious. Didn't hunt ! When I've told 
you — I fancy I made myself more or less clear 
on the subject, didn't I, Pickie ? — that your 
job to-morrow, the job for which you have 
been chosen out of many " — she stressed 
that * 4 many," as minxes will — " is to pilot 
me ? " 

Pickie, picking his way delicately through 
the rain-drizzle to the Horn and Holla, 
perpended many things — and not least of 
them the fact that even if one had her half- 
million oneself and she not the proverbial 
bean it would be a " pretty good egg " to 
marry Marigold — in his anxious heart. 

III. 

AT fifteen minutes past eight on the f ollow- 
jf^ ing morning — a morning so balmy, so 
sunlit, so redolent of spring that it 
seemed as though " March many- weathers " 
had already given place to April — Mrs. 
Nigginton, in a crocus-gold jumper and the 
smartest of tailor-made skirts, issued enor- 
mous from the saloon-bar towards the stables 
of the Horn and Holla, dragging by one un- 
resisting arm her pale and trembling spouse. 

" I tell you they are gone," ejaculated 
Mrs. Nigginton, her black eys flashing and 
her pearl-powdered nose in the air. " Two 
of them ! The only two that are worth 
anything at all. And he's gone too — at least 
Mary can't get any answer from him, though 
she's knocked a dozen times. And it's your 
fault, Josiah. Your fault and no one else's. 
I told you those padlocks weren't strong 
enough." 

*' He — he'll only have taken them for a 
day's hunting," stammered Nigginton. 

" Hunting ! At this time in the morning ! 
That's all you know about it. He hasn't 
taken them out hunting. And if he has, he 
won't bring them back. Not he. He's too 
artful for that — as artful as a stableful of 
jockeys. Lord Pickworth ! " The female 
of the species Nigginton sniffed. " A fine 
sort of a lord. He's a burglar, that's what 
he is. Owing one seven hundred pounds ; 



and then stealing the two best horses. They 
are his best horses. You told me so yourself. 
And now " — a tear suffused her off eye — 
" now we can whistle for our money." 

Arrived at the stables, they found Pickie 's 
badger-faced groom and Pickie's rat-faced 
help almost speechless with suppressed mirth. 

" Yes," said the badger-faced groom. 
" Oh, yes. He knew his orders. Water and 
feed at half -past seven after he'd got the keys 
from Mr. Nigginton. Wait for Mr. Niggin- 
ton before he took the horses out for exercise. 
Those were his lordship's orders ; but he, 
Badger-face, didn't have anything to do 
with Fireguard and Fireirons. Mr. Deem- 
ster, the stud -groom, always looked after 
them himself. But where was Mr. Deemster ? 
Where Fireguard ? Where Fireirons ? Ah, 
where indeed ! How should he, Badger-face, 
know ! He only wanted to get at his own 
horses — if Mr. Nigginton would kindly oblige 
with the keys." 

" Keys ! " Mrs. Nigginton stamped one 
smartly-brogued foot on the cobbles. " Keys ! 
It seems to me that your sort get on 
well enough without them." And striding 
angrily past the shirt-sleeved pair through 
the opened doorway," she indicated to the 
following Josiah the two empty loose-boxes, 
from whose upright bars the snapped pad- 
locks dangled derisive on their useless 
chains. 

" There ! " exclaimed Mrs. Nigginton. 
'•There!" 

The badger-faced groom sidled in with a 
grinned, " You'll excuse me, Mrs. Nigginton, 
but it's high time our horses was watered 
and fed — not to mention exercised — and I'd 
be much obliged for them keys." 

" You can water them." The artificial 
silk of the crocus-coloured jumper rustled as 
Mrs. Nigginton swung on her hips. " And 
you can feed them — though oats are worth 
their weight in gold. But as for exercising 
them, NO. Absolutely, NO. Those horses 
don't leave this yard till the others come 
back. Give him the keys, Josiah ; and wait 
here till he's finished. Then lock the boxes 
— and come in to breakfast." 

She swept off into the house ; and when, 
some three-quarters of an hour later, Niggin- 
ton faced her across the conjugal breakfast- 
table, there was that in her eye which would 
have made a stouter man take shelter behind 
the marmalade-pot. 

" I've been finding out things," announced 
Mrs. Nigginton, folding her table napkin 
with an air. " He went off before six. 
Some boys saw him. He was in his red coat 1 
That was why they noticed." 

•• Then I was right. He's only gone 
hunting." 

'• Gone to and come back from," pro- 
nounced Mrs. Nigginton, s \ $xe ft very different 
UNIVERSITY' OF r 



8 



Mustard- Pot — Bailiff sman 



pair of shoes. Where is he now ? Tell me 
that, Josiah." 

" Having breakfast at Saxenham," 
hazarded Josiah. 

" Why Saxenham ? " 

" Because they're meeting at Thorn's 
Point — and Saxenham 'd be the best place 
for him to wait for them." 

Mrs. Nigginton, gigantic behind the 

gigantic teapot, pondered this suggestion 

for thirty weighty seconds. Then, as one 

who announces Fate, she said : " Josiah, 

you will go to that meet." 
if j ? .» 

" Yes. You. And what's more, once 
you get there, you will follow the dogs. Or 
rather you'll follow this Lord Pickworth." 

" Follow him/' gasped Josiah. " Him on 
Fireirons ? " 

" And why not ? You can ride, can't 
you ? " She protruded her crocus-golden 
bust across the teapot. " You'll follow him, 
I say — follow him all day if you've got to. 
And when he's caught the fox — or whatever 
it is he does do — you'll bring him and both 
his horses home." 

" But they're not called dogs and he 
doesn't catch the fox, and he doesn't ride 
both horses," began Josiah. " Deemster 
rides one till the change, and then " 

" Never mind Deemster," said Mrs. Nig- 
ginton, Napoleonically, " and never mind 
details. Your job is to bring Lord Pickworth 
and both his animals back to my stables 
before it gets dark. Now run upstairs and 
get your breeches on while I tell the ostler 
to saddle you a horse." 

" But, damn it, we haven't got a horse. 
Not one fit to take out." 

" Oh, yes, we have. There's that yellow 
animal you bought from Sid Harrison " 

" Him ! " The apple of Josiah 's face 
blanched to onion-colour. " But he's a 
bolter. Sid told me so after I'd bought 
him." 

" Sid Harrison always was a liar." 
Josiah 's spouse smiled philosophically. 
" But if he happens to have spoken the truth 
for once in his life, so much the better ; 
because from what I've heard about the 
way this Lord Pickworth rides, a bolter is 
just the very thing you want to keep up 
With him," 

" My grief ! " said Josiah Nigginton ; and 
as, abandoning the shelter of the marmalade- 
pot, he fled upstairs to the conjugal bedroom : 
" My purple grief ! " 

IV. 

AT fifteen minutes to eleven, still on the 

f^ identical morning, there issued from 

under the archway of the Horn and 

Holla a horse butter-saffron of hue and so 

vast of height that the bowler-hat of the un- 



happy man whose stumpy canvas-gaitered 
legs bestrode him barely escaped being stove 
in against the lintel. This horse, moreover, as 
it walked sedately over the tarmac past the 
pork butcher's emporium of George Somers 
was immediately recognized by Mrs. Somers, 
who left the counter and called to his rider : 
" Good-morning, Mr. Nigginton. And when 
did you buy The Yellow Peril ? " 

"Last week," retorted the rider. "And 
that's not his na,me." 

11 It was .once." Wren Belton's daughter 
laughed. " What is it now ? " 

" Butter-pat." 

" Well, you mind Butter-pat doesn't run 
away with you — that's all." 

But Josiah, fresh from Mrs. Josiah's last 
instructions (" Now whatever you do, don't 
lose sight of him "), was beyond caring 
whether his horse ran away or not. " He 
can bolt to Turkey for all I care," muttered 
Mrs. Nigginton 's husband. Then, perpend- 
ing the matrimonial multiplications of the 
Turks, " Well, not exactly Turkey." 

All the same, he couldn't quite believe 
Sid's tale about the bolting. The saffron 
horse, even when they came to the railway- 
crossing and an unexpected express thun- 
dered by, seemed thoroughly sedate. Rather 
a well-made sort of a horse he seemed, too, 
now that he'd been clipped. A bit thin, 
of course — as one would expect of a nag 
that, had been "roughed off" at Sid 
Harrison's for the best part of twelve 
months. 

" Soon cure you of that, my pet," mur- 
mured Josiah, * and then you'll be just the 
mark for one of the real toffs." 

He patted the scrawny neck, and trotted on, 
calculating his profit on the twenty pounds he 
had invested in Butter-pat, towards the meet. 
Trotting, his spirits rose. A day off from 
Mrs. N., all said and done, was a day off 
from Mrs. N. His lordship — a good enough 
lad, if a bit gay — could be trusted to falsify 
Mrs. N.'s suspicions on his own. " Sha'n't 
worry about him," mused released Josiah. 

Butter-pat (better known as Mustard-Pot) 
jogged on, and after a while they overhauled 
two other bowler-hatted horsemen, crops 
thonged over shoulder, each mounted astride, 
one leading a black and the other a brown, 
both side-saddled. 

" Morning, John," greeted Nigginton. 

" Morning, Josiah." Sir Cuthbert Somer- 
by's stud-groom stared. " Don't often see 
you out nowadays. Where the devil did 
you fincl that canary-coloured elephant ? " 

" Never you mind his colour, John." 

" I don't ; but Daredevil does. Here, 
stow that, you old ass." For the led black, 
her eyes glinting wickedly, had begun to 
play up. " She's fi pig," confided the stud- 

^TiNiviMtaffi&V ^" 



Gilbert Frankau 



" Your young lady riding her ? " asked 
Nigginton. 

" Yes." 

" She's a rare 'un to go, too." 

M She is that," admitted the stud-groom ; 
but when Josiah, pumping discreetly, tried 
to find out if there were any truth in the 
rumour of his young mistress's engagement 
to the elusive Pickie, he countered with a 
non-committal, " Well, some says they are 
and some says they aren't. I'll believe it 
when I see it in the papers." 

By now the three of them were almost at 
the Point ; and Nigginton, steering his 
careful way among that conglomeration of 
led horses, pony-carts, cars, pedestrians, 
scarlet-clad thrusters, blue-clad thrustresses, 
kids on bicycles, policemen on duty, postmen 
off duty, farm-hands, farmers' wives, horse- 
copers, and hobbledehoys which is a Satur- 
day's field in Leicestershire, began to wonder 
whether his new purchase had ever been in 
the hunting-field before. " Takes it pretty 
calm," thought Nigginton. 

For Mustard-Pot, not having the foggiest 
notion what this vast concourse might 
portend, appeared unutterably bored. He 
dropped his head to the roadside grass and 
grazed like a sheep while his rider — all fears 
forgotten — watched the Saxenham road ; 
down which, merrily jig-jogging, came the 
pack, and following the pack — his polished 
topper at an inconceivable angle, his white- 
breeched knees cocked jockey-wise above 
the saddle-flaps, his red coat speckless and 
his top-boots shining like mirrors, a laugh 
in his eyes and a cigarette at the corner of 
his mouth — Pickie. 

Mustard-Pot cocked his ears as the pack 
rippled by, but displayed no further interest. 
Pickie, on Fireirons, called a derisive, " Morn- 
ing, Nigginton. How's the wife ? " And 
Deemster, following on Fireguard, pulled up 
alongside. 

" Keeping an eye on the pledges, Josiah ? " 
grinned the immaculate Deemster. " Be- 
cause, if so, you'll have your job cut out. 
It's a rare day for scent ; and if we find a 
straight-necked one you ought to see a bit 
of sport." 

V. 

PICKIE, cantering at Marigold's side 
towards the draw, made an almost 
identical remark. He was, truth to 
tell, rather pleased with his talents as a 
stable-breaker ; extremely pleased with Fire- 
irons, whose grey ears he kept on leaning 
forward to caress ; and more, far more than 
pleased with the as yet uncaressed Marigold 
— a perfect picture of equestrian girlhood 
on her dancing Daredevil. Nevertheless, 
there abode one tiny fly in Pickie 's ointment 
of joy — and that fly was the presence of 
Nigginton. 



" A chap," mused Pickie, " don't want to 
be reminded about hotel-bills and that sort 
of thing when he's hunting foxes over the 
best bit of country in the world with the best 
little girl who ever sat in a side-saddle. One 
don't want skeletons at the feast when " 

But at that precise moment — with half 
the field still bunched at the gate behind 
and the other half still chattering — 
Thorn's Point rang sudden to a terrific 
burst of hound-music ; and before Hunts- 
man Rogers (whose Saturday habit it is 
to give his field the slip if he can, and so 
avoid his pack being trampled to death by 
wild sportsmen) could think of any method 
to baffle his three hundred oppressors, a fox 
— the largest, reddest dog-fox Pickie had 
ever seen — snaked his way out of covert and, 
setting his mask for Saxenham Ruffs, went 
away like blazes over the ridge-and-furrow. 

Followed, in full cry, so close to that dog- 
fox's brush that it seemed a miracle if he 
could escape, sixteen couple of the best little 
bitches in England ; followed Rogers, 
hoping to God that M the Master would keep 
'em back"; then the Master, who knew he 
had about as much chance of keeping 'em 
back as a boy-scout of stopping a cavalry- 
charge ; then Pickie, the fly in the ointment 
forgotten ; then Marigold, doing her best to 
prevent Daredevil cutting down Fireirons ; 
then some fifty first-flighters determined to 
leap or die ; and lastly — strung out like wild- 
ducks over half a parish — the remainder of 
the astonished field. 

The first three fences — and for this Rogers, 
half his mind with his red fox and half with 
his red pursuers, thanked several stars — 
were good solid timber. Looking back as he 
bounded over the third of them he saw, even 
as he had expected, the fifty first-flighters 
thin — by that mysterious magnetism which 
draws gallopers gatewards — to a bare two 
dozen. " And there won't be many of those 
left at this bat," thought Rogers, looking 
comforted at his untrampled hounds. 

For the pace — even Pickie admitted to 
himself as he gathered Fireirons between his 
knees and rammed him over an oxer — was a 
cracker-jack. Already, hounds led horses 
by half a mile, and were still gaining. 
Already, landing beyond that oxer, he knew 
that, unless they checked at The Ruffs, not 
half-a-dozen of the boldest would be up at 
the finish. And " Great ! " thought Pickie, 
looking back over one shoulder to see 
Daredevil balance herself in full career and 
pop over like a grasshopper. 

Yet greater still it seemed to Pickie when 
two-and-thirty of the best little bitches in 
England gave The Ruffs the go-by and flashed 
on, carrying such a head as only sporting 
poets dream of, across the cream of the 
country towards Little Overdine. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



IO 



Mustard-Pot^Bailiffsman 




*' Ripping 1" called Marigold, 



Now it was steeplechase or die, with only 
the dozen of 'em in it ; and Pickie, crouched 
on his saddle, had forgotten even Marigold. 
The grass fled under Fireirons's hoofs; the 
fences fled under Fireirons's belly; the wind 
whistled between Fireirons's ears till his 
rider could scarcely see which way hounds 
ran. But Daredevil would not be denied ; 
and as he swished the worst of the raspers t 
Marigold — fencing in style — drew alongside 
her pilot, 

1 Ripping !" called Marigold, 

Jl Run of the season 1" called back Pickie. 

Four fields ahead they saw Rogers's 
scarlet top the fence at crest -line and dis- 
appear. A field to their right, they saw the 
Master, taking his own line, two hold women, 
and a sporting farmer. Behind them, they 
heard the thud-thud-thud of other gallopers. 
Then they saw the Master's chestnut peck 
over a cut-and-laid, recover, gallop on; 
saw the sporting farmer somersault headlong 



into a ditch ; saw the two bold women clear 
ditch with somersaulter ; and eased a little 
of their own pace up the slope over w r hich 
Huntsman Rogers had disappeared w^ith 
his pack. 

IJ Where's he making for ? " asked Mari- 
gold — and the voice was a little breathless ■ 
in her throat* 

M Spax ton's/' retorted Pickie, "if they 
don't kill him first *' ; and pulling to a fast 
trot, for the last ridge -and -furrow up to the 
crest was steeper than angry seas, he glanced 
sideways at heT wind-flushed face. Glancing, 
it flashed through his mind that — money or 
no money- — he must marry her, " Af ter all," 
he thought, " what's money ? Dross ! Dross 
for Niggintons." 

They reached the crest ; and Daredevil, 
fresh from the tiny breather, caught hold of 
her bit, Hareing after, over the lowest of 
blackthorns, Pickie caught a glimpse of 
Little Overdi^ 1 W^! ! in the vale below. 

"WERSITV Of MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 



ii 



r*St 



Run of the season I " called back Pickie. 



Rogers and his hounds, a mile ahead now, 
were still this side of the Little Over dine road. 
" Catch 'era here or catch 'em nowhere/ 1 
thought Pickie ; and he tapped Fireirons 
once with his whip so that she passed Dare- 
devil in three terrific strides and fairly flew 
down the long fenceless slope, " Damn ait 
Niggintons," thought Pickie, "this is the 
life*" Then, turning head back to see how 
Marigold was faring, he gave one astonished 
gasp. 

"Hallucinations," gasped Pickie; " hallu- 
cinations/' 

He looked again : gasped again ; tapped 
again — none too gently — at Fireirons's 
striding shoulders. For the thing, the horrid 
thing of his perceiving, was no hallucination. 
It was Care : Care garbed not in the fox- 
hunter's scarlet but — even as the poet tells 
us — in the black of a second horseman : 
Black Care, personified by Nigginton. 

At that horrid sight imagination, for once 



in a way, got the better of an Anglo-Saxon- 
Josiah and Josiah h s horse — Pickie's equine 
memory could no more doubt that butter- 
coloured steed than his newly-awakened' 
conscience could doubt Nigginton — had just 
topped the crest-line. He saw them gallop- 
ing in pursuit — in pursuit of him, Pickie, the 
picker of padlocks, the stealer of horseflesh. 
And p " I mustn't be caught/' thought the 
panicked Pickie, ' h I mustn't be caught — not 
on Fireirons — not on a stolen horse/' 

He hared on, his mind a whirl, the fly in 
his ointment swollen suddenly elephant. For 
if he were caught, then — then Marigold would 
know him for what he was, for a horse -thief, 
the kind of chap whom revolvered men (in 
the type of literature which fed Pickie's art- 
less soul) strung up in the nearest tree -clump. 

They were passing such a tree-clump- — it 
happened to be that ' Elm -Ring " which 
abuts on the Lfttb Overdine road — now ; 



12 



Mustard-Pot — Bailiff sman 



aware of the girl he loved racing to be level 
with him, while behind her, barely two 
hundred yards behind, his face set like grim 
death, rode the Terror of the Horse-Thieves 
(three-and-sixpence net, at all bookstalls). 

VI. 

AND " Wo a — woa, for the love of Moses," 
wailed the Terror of the Horse-Thieves, 
even that Nigginton who, willy- 
nilly, was carrying out his wife's instruc- 
tions to the absolute letter. 

Poor Nigginton ! He knew those fences 
in and out of the Little Overdine Road ; 
knew also that, three fields beyond the 
road, Little Overdine Brook foamed broad 
as the English Channel between poached and 
rotten banks. Surely those present fences, 
that present Brook, were enough to stop 
any bolter foaled of mare. Surely the past, 
the awful fence passed, would content the 
maniacal soul of this maniacal Butter-pat. 

All those passed fences, all the awful 
ditches he had glimpsed in flying them, all 
the ridges and all the furrows whereover 
Mustard-Pot (no other name suits him as he 
went that day) had borne him terror-stricken, 
went flashing like some crazy movie through 
Josiah's mind as the elms of Elm-Ring went 
flashing by his devoted head. He even 
realized, as dying men are said to realize 
their whole lives, the whole disaster ; how 
Mustard-Pot, jammed in the gateway at 
Thorn's Point, had seen hounds break cover 
and Rogers following ; how Mustard-Pot, 
as though suddenly grown wise to fox- 
hunting, had barged headstrong through the 
gateway (nearly barging one of Nigginton 's 
best customers to his doom) ; how Mustard- 
Pot, barging no longer but headstrong as 
ever, his great ears twitching and his great 
hocks working like pistons, had given one 
snort as he darted through the scurryers 
beyond the gateway ; and then bolted, 
heedless of bit, heedless of objurgation, 
heedless of timber, heedful only of the horses 
ahead — bolted like a stallion possessed of 
seven hundred devils, in pursuit of the 
leading twelve. Wherefore, so weary that 
his hands might have been a baby's on 
Mustard-Pot's reins, and so blown that his 
voice might have been the wail of the wind 
in Mustard-Pot's ears, the Terror of the 
Horse-Thieves gasped one final "Woa," and 
seizing the martingale-strap awaited his end. 

His eyes, as that end drew near, were wise 
to the grey Fireirons gathering himself for 
the upspring, to Pickie's scarlet lofted high 
over hornbeam, to Marigold's Daredevil 
leaping side by side with Fireirons ; his ears, 
as Mustard-Pot balanced himself for one 
fractional second, caught the rap of hoofs 
galloping across macadam ; and his soul, all 
that was left of it, sent up one voiceless 



prayer to the gods of the chase that they 
should save his head from the hard high road. 
Then Mustard-Pot's hocks hurled Mustard- 
Pot's forehand skywards — hornbeam van- 
ished under — Mustard-Pot landed on turf at 
roadside — white road vanished with horn- 
beam — and Mustard-Pot, up-ending sea-saw- 
wise, leaped clean to turf again. 

" Saved ! " thought Josiah. " Saved by 
Butter-pat and the living jingo." And at 
that thought, the sporting instinct, so long 
overlaid by his ponderous spouse, stirred 
once more to life under his claret-coloured 
waistcoat, so that he rose in his stirrups and 
halloed — halloed with the last of his breath. 

No hound, no huntsman heard that hallo — 
only Pickie, Pickie still panic-stricken, racing 
as men race in nightmares from a phantom 
foe. "Caught," thought Pickie; "caught." 
And he lifted the tiring Fireirons over the 
ultimate timber, marvelling, despite his 
panic, how Daredevil and her rider should 
have lived through such a gruelling. 

But the end of the gruelling was not yet. 
Five hundred yards ahead, hidden still but 
none the safer for its hiding, flowed the 
trickiest obstacle in all the Shires. Beyond 
it, up the green slope to Little Overdine, 
Rogers — his hounds caught at last — was 
capping them on. 

"The Brook!" shouted Pickie. "Over- 
dine Brook ! Can do it, Marigold ? " 

" Must do — can't stop her," called back 
the galloping Marigold ; and just as she 
called, Nigginton, almost level with them, 
halloed again. 

" Damn it," Pickie's spurs found horse- 
flesh, " damn it, I won't be caught." 

Sweat-sodden Fireirons sprang from the 
spur ; sweat-sodden Daredevil sprang to be 
level with him ; and behind them, foam- 
flecked from nose to tail-tip, losing ground 
with every rocking stride, Mustard-Pot 
summoned the last of his strength, the last 
of his breath, to make up his distance. 

And now, suddenly, they saw the gleam 
of muddy water ; and now, suddenly, 
Pickie's panic left him, and now, eyes, brain, 
limbs, every fibre of his mind and body 
concentrated across the Brook. "Steady," 
he called to Marigold, " go steady — pick 
your place." 

But he might as well have called to a comet; 
for Daredevil, the gag between her teeth, 
went down the last of the slope like a charging 
cheetah, and was already on her hocks and 
in mid-air, a second before his own legs 
closed with a vice-grip on the saddle -flaps. 

Even as Fireirons rose Pickie knew, with 
the utter certainty which is finest horse- 
manship, that the Brook had beaten Fire- 
irons, beaten Daredevil ; that they were in 
for a spill, for the spill of a lifetime. Even 
as Daredevil s fore-feet plunked to mud and 



Gilbert Frankau 



13 



Marigold shot headlong, he knew Fireirons 
would only miss Daredevil by inches. Even 
as the grey blundered and sank backwards, 
his knees loosed their vice-grip and he fell 
clear, on the far bank, less than a yard from 
the fallen Marigold. 

He was up in a second, up and kneeling by 
the prostrate girl. But before his out- 
stretched hand touched her shoulder ; while 
yet his eyes dithered and his ears buzzed 
from the pace of his toss, an avalanche — an 
avalanche of yellow horseflesh with a white- 
faced man atop of it — came hurtling for the 
Brook. 

There was no time to shout, no time to 
pray. Pickie did what man could, did it auto- 
matically, flinging himself* down on top of 
Marigold and waiting, waiting all through 
that hundredth part of a second which can 
be eternity, for the spine-breaking crash of 
the yellow horse's fore-hoofs. 

But no crash came, only — or so it seemed 
to the war-trained Pickie — the noise of a 
huge shell bursting on impact and, following 
the shell-burst, deluge — a deluge of mud and 
water from which he realized, as men realize 
miracles, that the yellow horse must have 
swerved in its leaping. 

He rose to his knees as the deluge sub- 
sided. There, at the Brook, five good yards 
downstream from Daredevil and Fireirons, 



Mustard -Pot — stifle-high in oozing mud — was 
struggling desperately for foothold. There, 
at the . Brook, five good yards from 
struggling Mustard-Pot, Josiah Nigginton — 
watchchain-high in mud-brown waters — was 
wading desperately for safety. " Sorry, your 
lordship, sorry," spluttered the wading Josiah. 
Pickie, however, did not deign the 
splutterer even a curse ; for Marigold, 
suddenly stirring, opened her eyes — so that 
the splutterer, wading somehow to Jand, saw 
his lordship lift her head very tenderly to his 
white-breeched knee, and lifting . . . 

. . . But that which Mrs. Nigginton 's husband 
saw — " a kiss worth every bit of seven 
hundred quid to me and the missus " — 
is no more for publication than my friend 
Mustard-Pot's rambling account of how it 
took most of the afternoon and most of 
Farmer Thompson's cart-horses to drag him, 
Daredevil, and Fireirons out of the mire, or 
Silver Glory's scornful comment that she 
4 took the rotten little ditch as it ought to 
be taken — not too slow nor yet too fast," 
and so was the only mare to see Huntsman 
Rogers roll " Charlie " over in Little Overdine 
churchyard. 

Don't talk to me about fishermen — the 
worst worm-and-fly liar would be a George 
Washington in a fox-hunting village ! 



ACROSTICS. 



DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. 10*. 
In either, or in neither, of two land*, 
On railway, river, and the sea it stands. 

1. Look down below the level of your feet 
To find the complement of Water Street. 

2. Professionally one is treated here. 

And same will, rightly rearranged, appear. 

3. Let gage appear of other hue than green. 
Fair ladies closely linked there may be seen, 

4. Easy it ought to be to find the place ; 
You ought to tarn it up, if such the case. 

5. What sounds as though 'twere meant in very deed ? 
A shorter synonym we here should read. 

6. Honey and milk, no doubt, he used to take ; 
Tea in a can would not be hard to make. 

7. These may suggest it : Ferry, heather, rocks, 
Covenant, silver button, uncle, fox. PAX. 

Answers to Acrostic Xo. 108 should be addressed to the 
Acrostic Editor, Thb Strand Magazine, Southampton 
Street, Strand, London, W.C.2, and must arrive not later 
than by the first post on July llth. 

Two answers may be sent to every light. 

It is essential that solvers, with their answers to this 
acrostic, should send also their real names and addresses. 

ANSWER TO DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. 107. 
[The Third of the Strie*.) 
Lov* in a forest, heroines disguised. 
By Stratford's famous son immortalized. 

1 . Within the Zodiac the ram is fixed. 

2. A man, of three ; one fish, another mixed. 



3. King, mourned by poet, loses tail and h«>ad. 

4. From city, bark, or toil one fourth has fled. 

5. Now should the very last of all appear. 

6. See fifty sheep. And hundreds more are near. 

7. So can we march. Part of the foot we see. 

8. Here, captain, boil the water for our tea. 

0. No quadruped, though such his name imjilies. 

10. Muscles or brains he hates to exercise. 

11. Take creature, county, and fair heroine, 
Six-lettered each, halve, add : our word is seen. 

PAX. 

1. A rie S 

2. S hadrac H 

3. Y cid A 

4. O r K 

5. U ltimat E 

6. L ewe S 

7. I nste P 

8. K ettl E 

9. E li A 

10. I die R 

11. T welv E 

NoTis.— Light 2. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego ; shad* 
char. 3. Edward King, Milton's Lycidas. 4. York, corkt 
work. 6. L., fifty ; ewes. South Downs, noted for 
sheep. 8. Captain Kettle. 9. Lamb. 11. Kitten, 
Tyrone, Oenone ; ten, one, one ; added, twelve. 

Seventeen of the answers to No, 106 had no pseudonym 
appended to them. 

Solvers who write to the Acrostic Editor and desire 
answers to their queries should, with their letters, enclose 
a stamped addressed <-nWo* * n d he will endeavour to 
reply. V fTTTOm 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 




inimiiiir 



HE BRACED HIS SHOULDER TO THE STRAIN, 
HE CAUGHT HER AS SHE SANK, ALL SPENT, 

AND WITH HER BALANCED TURNED AGAIN 
TO MAKE HIS TERRIBLE DESCENT. 



=■— ^rasm^™ 




Dim 



15 



"NOW THEN. SMITH !" 

• % 

$ * 

A.CONAN DOYLE 



iiiiiiiiuiiHiiuiiiuimiiiimiiiiuiiiiimiiimitiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiHHiii^^ 



.■iiilliiiiiiiiiimiiiiMiiitniimiiiiiiiiiliiiilliliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiHiiiiiiiitiiitnii 



[The incident referred to actually occurred after the earthquake at Messina.] 



* 'T'WAS on Messina's day of wrath, 

X When one wild morning laid her low. 
On either side of that grey path 

The cinder piles were still aglow. 
Down it there sauntered Skipper Wise, 

The Master of the Roderic Dhu, 
\tid at his h&els, with wondering eyes, 

A dozen of her* collier crew. 



But hark that cry ! Above their heads 

There hung. a riven, shaking wall ; 
From bulging base to melting leads 

Was sheet a hundred foot of fall ; 
And there, half-balanced on a sill, 

There clung a little frightened maid. 
Her white face staring down, and still 

She waved her hand and cried for aid. 



The Skipper cocked his thumb in air, 
" Now then, Smith ! " he curtly said.- 

The seaman marke^. the child- up- there, 

And growled an oath and scratched his head. 



They saw him wet his horny paw. 

They saw him test the shaking wall, 
They saw him creep from flaw to flaw, 

They saw him slip, they saw him fall ; 
And yet again regain his grip 

And find a crevice, for his stand, 
And on with jerk and spring and slip, 

Until he clutched the downstretched hand 



He braced his shoulder to the strain. 

He caught her as she sank, all spent, 
And with her balanced turned again 

To make his terrible descent ; 
With pause for thought and pause for breath, 

While the dark rabble prayed and cried. 
Until from that high place of death 

He bore her to her mother's side. 

Copyright, 1932, by A. 



" Now then, Smith I " the Skipper said, 

And at the word the thing was done. 
But where is Smith, whos£ hand and head 

Has played a match with death and won ? 
He's just a chap among the chaps, 

Unknown, unhonoured, as before. 
And there he'll stay untH, perhaps. 

The world has need of him once more 

So has it been in every age, 

In every age it still shall be ; 
Smith's name is not on history's page, _ 

But who has made that page save he* ? 
The Warrior Chief can frame his plan 

With all that wisdom can devise* 
And then — ah, then it needs the man, 

And " Now then, Smith ! " he loudly cries. 

The Statesman in a parlous place 

May totter on unstable ground, 
- His blunders rise before his face, 

And no redemption may be found. 
When all is lost, 'mid doubts and fears, . 

There's one more card that he can play N 
It's " Now then; Smith ! " and Smith appears 

to save him for some later day. 

And when War raised its fearsome shape 

And Europe shrank before its form, 
Our England, stood with no escape, 

Unarmed before the rising storm. 
'Twas Smith' to whom at once we turned. 

Five million Smiths obeyed the call. 
To Smith the praise that he has earned. 

For by his blood he saved us all. 

Now then, Smith ! 

You're neither rich nor gifted, 
But here's a job that must be done, 

A job we may not shirk. 
Now then, Smith ! 

Get down to it and shift it ! 
You're just the common working bee, 

So work, yen beggar, work 1 

cona„ WHVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



16 



ANIMALS AS MOTHERS 

^L <J.Apth\ir Thomson ma, lld. 






Regius Professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen. 



IN some of the tribes 
of Central Africa the 
mother carries the 
young child on her 
back or on her side all 
the day long. As she 
works in the held, or 
milks the cows, or goes 
about the hut, she has 
the baby always with 
her, and the child often 
clutches hard. So some 
of the opossums that 
have no pouch carry 
their young ones about 
with them, the tail of the 
youngster curled like a 
tendril round the tail of 
the mother. Sometimes 
there are six young ones 
holding on to their mother 
— a cheerful crew. How 
different from this — and 
yet the same — is the sight 
of the hippopotamus in 
the Nile with a youngster 
astride her neck. The 
mother -monkey often 
carries her child from tree 
to tree, and the father 
sometimes gives her a rest 
by taking his turn. 



CARRYING THE YOUNG 
ONES ABOUT. 

Still more daring is the 
mother-bat, who flies in 
mid -air with her offspring 
clutching her breast with 
its thumbs and closing its tiny front teeth on 
the curiously roughened hair, It is hardly 
necessary to say that the bat has rarely more 
than one offspring at a time. One is enough 
for a flying mother to carry about ; and the 
small number also indicates plainly that bats 
are very safe in the struggle for existence. In 
the case of typical marsupials like kangaroos 
the young ones are born in a very helpless 
state, as it were prematurely, and the mother 
stows them away in an external skin -pocket 
which develops round about the milk-glands. 
She manages to get the mouth of each young 




The opossum* carry 
about with them, the 
youngsters curled like a 
pjwM the tail of th 



one over a teat, which 
then s%vells a little, and 
as the young one is at 
first unable to suck, the 
mother by means of 
special musculature in- 
jects the milk into its 
mouth. One might think 
that the milk would 
sometimes "go down the 
wrong way' J and drown 
the offspring, but there is 
an interesting adaptation 
to prevent this. The glot- 
tis or opening of the 
windpipe is shunted for- 
ward to meet the posterior 
opening of the nasal pas- 
sage, so that air is borne 
along a continuous tube 
to the lungs, and the milk 
is kept to its proper place 
— the gullet. By and by 
the young marsupial 
gains strength, it pokes 
its head out of the pocket 
and looks around, it jumps 
out altogether, it clambers 
in again when danger 
threatens — an altogethe r 
quaint performance, 

In illustration of ma- 
ternal care among animals 
it is natural to begin with 
carrying the young ones 
about after birth, for this 
is a sort of prolongation 
of what is true of many 
mother -animals, that they 
carry the young ones about before birth, This 
"viviparity" is characteristic of mammals, 
but it is also seen in some reptiles, such as 
the adder, in some amphibians like the Alpine 
salamander, in some fishes like the viviparous 
blenny, in insects like green flies, in the 
primitive Peripatus (linking worms to insects), 
which carries its young for about a year before 
birth, and so on downwards to simple 
creatures like some of the sea-anemones. 
But even among animals that lay eggs which 
are hatched outside of the bodv, there is 

l^vft^^rffeSl the yoimgsters ' 



their young 
tails ol the 

tendril round! 
mother* [Bn*d r 



J. Arthur Thomson, m.a., ll.d. 



17 



f'huta ] 



The Surinam toad has a big family in skin 
cradles on her back ; the father sea-horse 
carries his family in a big breast-pocket. 
The young crayfishes shelter under t,heir 
mother's tail and hang on as she swims , 
and the brook -lecch t so common under 
stones, has often a family clinging on beneath. 
There is no hard-and-fast line In.twtrn 
carrying the eggs about and carrying the 
young ones. In one crustacean the eggs are 
sheltered in a brood pouch and the young 
ones swim away as soon as they 
can, the mother paying no heed. 
In another crustacean, not dis~ 
tantly related, the young ones 
return to the protection of their 
mother after they have made ex- 
cursions on their own . The wolf -spider Lycos a 
carries her eggs in a cocoon, and after the 
young ones are hatched they cling to her body 
in M a squirming mass." Professor Holmes 
says that she gives them no particular atten- 
tion, and that "it is doubtful whether her 
maternal care goes farther than a good- 
natured tolerance of her living burden/' But 
it is probably safe to say that maternal care 
has one of its roots in prolonged attachment 
between mother and young. 

GUARDING THE EGGS. 

When an animal can carry its eggs or its 
young ones about with it, that is making 
sure. "Only sheer force will take them from 
me," the mother says ; " I will die rather than 
give them up/ 1 But it is often impossible 
to carry the family about, so we naturally 
pass to cases where the eggs are laid and 
guarded. Even in the same order — e.g. t 
spiders — the two methods may be illustrated. 
As we rest on a summer holiday among the 
heather we may see a mother-spider hurrying 
past with her cocoon held beneath her body 
and sometimes bound to her by silken threads. 




This cocoon is very 
different from the 
silken bag which a 
caterpillar makes 
around itself when 
it is going to change 
into a moth ; the 
cocoon of a spider 
is a silken bag made 
by the mother to 



baby kangaroo with its mother. 



[Fun 




hold the eggs and by and by the young 
ones. Some spiders, as we have just said, 
carry the cocoon about and will not 
readily let it go* but others leave it in a 
more or less safe place. The bramble -leaves 
are sometimes bound together with silk, and 
if we open them gently we find inside a 
silken cocoon or, it may be, several. Other 
kinds are hidden under loose stones or bark. 
We have found a pretty one which is not 
hidden at all, but is hung like a white bell, 
closed at the mouth, from a twig of heather. 
But our point is this, that in addition to 
making the cocoon and carefully disposing 
of it, the mother-spider sometimes remains 
beside it p guarding it vigilantly* The true 
water -spider, Argyroneta, with her sub- 
aquatic web in the shelter of which she 
deposits her eggs, is not content to leave 
them there, but watches them with diligence, 
The trap-door spider sinks a shaft in the 
earth, plasters the interior smoothly, and 
makes a lid of clay with a silken hinge — all 
for the sake of the bunch of eggs stowed 
away in a far corner* But she is not content 
to leave them ; in some cases at least she 

remains on guard 
and holds the 
trap-door shut ! 

There is a 
strange animal, 
called Galeodes, 
a distant relative 
of spiders and 
scorpions, that 
lives in dry places 
in warm countries 
and is very poison- 
ous. In the case 
of the species that 
frequents the 
steppes of Turk- 
estan, we are told 
that the mother 
excavates a shaft. 



mostly horizontal, 
A hippopotamus in the Nile with a youngster astride; her neck- in the ground, and 

VoL Ixiv.— i 



i8 



Animals as Mothers 



lays about a hundred eggs in its recess. These 
hatch out in a couple of days, having been 
developing beforehand within the mother's 
body ; but the young ones are not strong 
enough to face the outer world. So the 
mother mounts guard in the hole, and stays 
there fasting for five weeks. Then she lets 
her family go, and has a well-deserved meal. 
There is no end to these stories. 

THE MATERNAL OCTOPUS. 

One does not associate an octopus or 
devil-fish with the gentler virtues, but this 
is mere prejudice. The mother attaches 
her eggs to a substratum, and she returns to 
them at intervals to squirt water over them 
from her funnel. They are, of course, always 
bathed in the sea-water, but the forceful 
squirting drives off particles of mud and also 
promotes good aeration. This is a particu- 
larly interesting custom, for it occurs again 
among the quite unrelated true fishes. Thus 
the cock-paidle splashes energetically with 
his gill-cover and occasionally with his tail 
about the bunch of eggs deposited in a corner 
of the shore-pool. In this case, however, it 
is the father that is so strenuous. 

We like to dwell on cases where the mother 
or the father lingers about the place where 
the eggs have been deposited. It suggests 
another root — or should we say bud *-— of 
parental affection. We see it among fishes, 
amphibians, and reptiles, and does it not 
point on to brooding ? The slippery gunnel 
or butter-fish on the seashore curves its body 
round the bunch of eggs ; the male nurse 
frog has the cluster of eggs fastened to his 
hind limbs and remains quietly with them 
in the mud, going into the water occasionally 
to bathe ; how gradually one is led on to the 
python, which anticipates the birds in actually 
brooding — encircling the eggs in its massive 
coils. 

NESTING. 
. Everyone associates nests with birds, but 
the nesting habit has a much wider range. 
It is a " mothering " adaptation, tending to 
secure the safety of young ones that are at 
first relatively helpless. Mr. Hudson tells us 
that when the shepherds are moving a great 
flock of sheep from one part of the Argentine 
Pampa to another a lamb may be dropped by 
the way. The mother rests a little, the new- 
born lamb staggers to its feet and has a 
drink, and long before the flock has passed 
the two of them are able to join in. Every- 
one has seen how quickly a foal is able to 
totter along beside its solicitous mother — a 
useful quality in animals that originally lived 
as nomads on the plains. In such cases 
there is obviously no need of nesting, but we 
have only to pass to the not distantly related 
deer to find cases where the young are unable 
to move about for several days after birth. 



The mother hides her offspring in the thicket, 
and this is half-way to a nest. 

Amongst the branches of the tree, or where 
the main stem forks, the squirrel makes a 
large nest of moss and twigs, and there the 
young are nurtured. The nest is often 
conspicuous, for the squirrel has few enemies. 
It might be said that the squirrel's nest differs 
from a bird's nest since the mother squirrel 
does not brood, but that is a distinction 
without much difference, since there are long 
quiet times of suckling the young. Should 
danger be very pressing, in the shape of a 
woodman, for instance, the mother may 
shift her young, carrying one at a time in 
her mouth. 

Of nests at lower levels than birds and 
mammals — nests without brooding — there are 
many instances: the tree -frog's leaf -nest 
suspended above the water and with a floor 
that gives way at the appropriate moment, 
the nest made by the male stickleback for 
the eggs of his several wives, the stone-nest 
of the lampreys in the river, the hanging 
paper nest of certain wasps, the nest of the 
humble-bee in the mossy bank. But we 
must not be led off on this interesting 
side-track. 

SAFETY FIRST. 

There is great variety in the ways in which 
the safety of the young is secured. The fact 
seems to be that the well-being of the young 
is to the mothers as preoccupying a problem 
as self-preservation. Unlike the rabbit, 
which secures safety by burrowing, and 
brings forth its young at a blind and naked 
stage, the common hare has her resting-place 
on a site from which she can get visual, 
auditory, and olfactory news of the country 
round about. But how effective is the 
simple device of taking a long leap out of 
the " form " and into it again on her return 
from feeding, for thus the scent is broken. A 
hare has usually two leverets, for the sake of 
which she will fight and best the weasel. If 
the fox is beginning to find out her home 
she will shift the youngsters by night, and 
some authorities say that when the mother 
has four leverets instead of two, she takes 
two of them to a second ' form," not risking 
all her eggs in one basket ! In a sense it Is 
fair to call the rabbit a nest-maker, for there 
is a bed in the burrow that is made comfort- 
able with the rabbit's own wool, and there 
the young ones are born. Our point is 
simply that the hare — the rabbit's first 
cousin — attains the same end of family- 
safety by means altogether different. 

PREPARING FOR THE YOUNG. 

Every nest -making is a more or less clear 
anticipation of what the young ones will 
require, but among insects there is often a 
much more elaborate preparation. One 

l, IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



J. Arthur Thomson, m.a., ll,d. 



19 



example mtst suffice. The Sphex wasp 
makes her burrow in the bank> she deposits 
an egg in a recess, she sets off to find pro- 
vender, she meets a cricket and stings it 
twice in a ventral nerve centre so that it is 
paralysed, she drags it to the mouth of the 
burrow and lays it down for a moment while 
she dives into the 
earth to see that 
there has been no 
intrusion or inter- 
ference she comes 
up again and 
deftly pulls in her 
booty, she lays it 
beside the egg, re- 
ascends, and flics 
away, The same 
thing is done 
again and again, 
and then the 
mother dies. 
When the Sphex 
g r u bs are h a t ched , 
they find fresh 
meat — the para- 
lysed crickets — 
close at hand. 
The whole chain 
of events has now 
become securely 
enregistered in 
the brain of the 
Sphex wasp ; it is 
a chain of instinc- 
tive actions ■ and 
there can be no 
clear anticipation 
of what the Sphex 
mother has never 
seen, namely, her 
offspring. There 
can be little doubt, however, that the instinc- 
tive custom was established ages ago when the 
mother Sphex did survive to see her offspring, 
and that there was in the establishment of the 
instinct a degree of awareness that has long 
since been lost. The tyranny of the maternal 
instinct is well illustrated by Fabre's ex- 
periment of removing the cricket while the 
Sphex was reconnoitring underground. She 
came up, missed her booty, searched for it* 
found it, dragged it to the mouth of the 
burrow, laid it down, dived in, and came up 
again — only to find that the cricket had been 
stolen once more, This happened forty 
times in succession ; a ray of active in- 
telligence — which the Sphex does not lack — 
would have broken the spell ! 

STRANGE CASES. 

In some countries, such as Madagascar, 
the mother crocodile buries her eggs a couple 
of feet in the loose soil, where fermenting 



Should danger threaten , 
young, carrying one at 



vegetable matter aids the sun in sustaining 
a temperature suitable for development. 
This burying means safety, but it must be 
awkward for an air-breathing animal to be 
born beneath the ground ! What happens is 
this : the mother does not go far off, and 
when the young crocodile is ready to be 

hatched it utters 
a piping cry — a 
signal, all unbe- 
knownst, which 
the parent under- 
stands. She digs 
down and the 
young crocodiles 
are not buried 
alive. 

What a strange 
book is opened 
when we inquire 
into the different 
ways in which 
wasps deal with 
their young ones 
> — some providing 
stores before the 
eggs are hatched, 
some bringing 
their offspring 
fresh food every 
day, and some 
putting a brew of 
chewed insects 
into the mouth of 
the grub and ask- 
ing back in return 
a drop of salivary 
juice — which 
seems to be an 
Elixir Vil&. 

How quaint is 
the case of the fish 
called kurtus, which lives in fresh waters in 
New Guinea, There are not many eggs, and 
the dangers are great, yet safety is secured. 
Round each egg is coiled a delicate filament 
which unwinds when the eggs are shed in the 
water. Quite automatically the filaments 
become entangled together and bind the 
eggs into a double bunch, like a double 
bunch of currants* At the breeding season 
a finger-like hook of bone grows upwards, 
forwards, and then downwards on the top 
of the male's skull ; and just before the hook 
is becoming an " eye JJ he rushes at the 
floating bunch of eggs, and gets them fixed 
on the top of his head. No place could be 
safer, and he carries them about till they 
hatch, Of course, this is not maternal, but 
we must give the fathers a look in* 

Underneath the moss on an old wall we 
found a small squat insect almost as white 
as flour. It moved very slowly, as if half 

M ^ijfl^tt#?.totefi a " t^aile^ ■' 




the squiriel removes her 
a lime in her moulh* 



Animals as Mothers 



behind its body, shaped rather like a broad 
shovel. When we looked into this trailer 
we found it was full of developing eggs. 
Where is the maternal voice not heard ? 

DEFENCE OF THE YOUNG* 

Those who live in the country know well 
that they must be cautious in going near a 
mare with a young foal. In her solicitude 
she is dangerous. Even a gentle creature 
may forget herself and kill her master whom 
she - suspects of threatening her offspring. 
What really happens in an animal so long 
domesticated as the horse is no doubt a welling 
up of an ancestral instinct from the depths of 
the unconscious, It is very instructive to learn 
that some Scotch cows transported to America 
hid their new-born calves in the bush while 
they graced in the open — returning in a bound, 
as it were, to the custom of wild cattle. 

We read of the rage of the she-bear 
* l robbed of her whelps/' but there is likewise 
rage when the young are merely threatened. 
Many carnivores show this, not only lions 
and leopards, but small creatures like stoats 
and weasels. In defence of its family the 
mother stoat will stand up to a man : there 
is not a particle of fear in its composition. 
We hardly wonder at the passion of the 
mother elephant with her offspring at her 
feet, but we can cap that near home when 
the mother-hare leaps over the weasel in- 
truding on the lev- 
erets playing in the ** ■-* 
light of the moon 
and kills him with a 
strong back- kick, 
There are many in- 
stances of the mater 
futiosa. 

The same is true 
of many birds. 
How vigorously the 
swans defend their 
nest, and how effect- 
ively the cliff- swal- 
lows unite to drive 
off the falcon ! At 
lower levels, too, we 
see the same parental 
courage, as in the 
father - stickleback, 
who rushes at in- 
truders five times 
his own size ; or in 

the mother-spider, who will fight for her 
cocoon. On a side-track are the devices 
illustrated by lapwing and by fox, where 
there is a feigning of lameness or injury, 
which distracts attention from the young, 

DIFFICULT CASES. 

There axe cases where maternal care seems 
conspicuous by its absence. What is one to 




make of them ? There is no special difficulty 
with the + " spawners." The frog deposits 
her thousand or more eggs in the shallow 
water of the pond, and cares no more about 
them. There are too many tadpoles to be 
looked after, and the race continues in spite 
of the huge infantile mortality. ^Nature does 
not support the superfluous — even when it is 
a virtue. But the way of the frog would 
not work in the case of the golden eagle with 
its two eggs, or of the bat with its single 
offspring. 

Then there are cases where man makes a 
puzzle by failing to recognize the intellectual 
limitations of the animal , Many a female 
fish will devour her own offspring if she comes 
across them in the water ; but it is not to 
be supposed that she is in any sense aware 
that they are hers ! We may set against 
this more than one case where the male 
shelters the eggs in his mouth ! He fasts till 
they are hatched ; but it looks like + tempting 
Providence." 

In other instances, like that of Professor 
Whitman's passenger pigeon, which could 
not, or would not, retrieve her eggs though 
they were only a few inches off, the explana- 
tion is simply this ; that in many animals 
certain parts of the business of life have in 
the course of time been " handed over to 
instinct" so completely, and, in natural con- 
ditions, so effectively, that any disturbance 

of the routine non- 
plusses the animal 
: altogether. 

We recall one of 
Mr. Hamerton's true 
stories about a cow 
that was so grief* 
stricken by the death 
of her calf that she 
would not eat her 
food or give any 
milk. So they took 
the skin of the calf 
and stuffed it with 
hay and placed it 
before the bereaved 
mother. She was 
comforted, and licked 
the stuffed calf copi- 
ously : her appetite 
returned and her 
milk-giving. But as 
time went on she 
made a hole in the calf's *kin with her caresses, 
and coming on the hay -stuffing ate it. Now 
it is fallacious to find any great difficulty in 
this absurd story, or in others like it. It 
would be erroneous to argue that the cow 
had no affection for her offspring because 
she was comforted by its stuffed skin ; it 
would be £fjii=*J!v erroneous to reproach the 

^iteflW^™:^*^ anatomy - 



Lapwings one of 
them by (eigning 
lameness trying to 
draw a (ox away 
from their nesting- 
place. 



J, Arthur Thomson, m.a., 



LL.D. 




At the same time 
we may admit that 
the brain of the 
domesticated cow 
is in a rather coma- 
tose condition. 

There are many 
inte resting cases 
where the instinct 
for mothering is 
so strong that it 
overflows to the 
children of quite 
d i flerent animals , 
Miss Frances Pitt 
took a new-born 

rat and, after putting it beside young kittens 
for a little to get the appropriate odour, gave 
it to a nursing cat. It was accepted without 
demur and duly suckled, licked, and nurtured 
as if it had been a kitten. When the rat 
became able to fend for itself it kept up its 
friendship for the foster-mother and used to 
pay her frequent visits. They continued to 
be on the best of terms. One day the rat 
came running impetuously into the room 
where another cat was lying, whose surprise 
was a spectacle ! An interesting detail was 
that, though the foster-mother had been a 
good " ratter," she never killed another. 
One would like to know whether this fact 
could be generalized — whether a foster- 
mother in her subsequent life ever attacks 
the species of its adopted baby. 

An extraordinary case of ** fostering * 3 is 
that of a hen who sheltered two young 
weasels (which w r ere extraneously fed by the 
observer), and got on very w T ell with them 
except when they bit her in searching for 
something to suck* The mothering instinct 
is strong ! 

Almost unique among backboned animals 
is the case of the cuckoo, which shirks most 
of its maternal responsibilities, but this is a 
special freak — a telescoping of two whole 
chapters in the ordinary routine of instinctive 
parental behaviour, Among insects there 
are many approximations to this extra- 
ordinarily interesting deviation from the 
strait path of maternity. 

MATERNAL INSTRUCTION, 

Naturalists have given far too little atten- 
tion to the education of young animals by 
their parents — usually by their mothers. It 
is not common, but it is probably of great 
importance when it occurs- For it cor- 
responds to tradition and education in 
mankind — a way of entailing gains that do 
not form part of the organic or flesh- an d- 
blood inheritance. Naturally enough we do 
not find examples of maternal instruction 
among those animals whose behaviour is 
almost wholly instinctive or hereditarily 



The otter is a paragon of maternal care — she 

punishes her cubs, hut she also plays with them. 



21 

enregistered. Thus 
a young Sphex 
w T asp is not in any 
way handicapped 
in the business of 
i ":s life by being an 
orphan (its parents 
are always dead 
before it is 
hatched), for it has 
all its repertory of 
devices ready- 
made and inborn. 

It is among 
mammals in par- 
ticular, where 
intelligence is waxing and instincts are 
waning, that maternal instruction is highly 
developed. Take the otter, for instance, 
which we know so well through the lifelong 
studies of Mr. Tregarthen. The mother is a 
paragon of maternal care and a good educa- 
tionist. She punishes her cubs, but she also 
plays with them. She teaches them the long 
alphabet of woodcraft— which sounds are 
trivial and which significant ; when to press 
on and when to play possum, She gives 
them swimming lessons and diving lessons, 
and shows them how to catch trout and eel, 
frog and rabbit. She teaches them not to 
return to the kill, how to go heme without 
retracing their steps, how T to lie perdu 
beneath the bank of the river while the otter 
hounds are nosing all over the place. Table 
manners have also to be taught, and they 
have a biological basis ; thus frogs must be 
skinned before they are eaten, for the skin is 
as unpalatable as the muscle is delicious, and 
while the trout must be eaten from the head, 
the eel must be tackled from the tail I There 
is a long childhood and an elaborate schooling, 
and surely we have here one of the reasons 
for the otter's survival, The same kind of 
maternal instruction is given by stoat and by 
fox, and by various other mammals ; like- 
wise by some birds* It must also be re- 
membered that the play of young animals is 
to some extent under the mother's eye, and 
that playing means an irresponsible ap- 
prenticeship to the serious business of life, a 
time for testing instincts and liberating 
intelligence, 

THE BIOLOGY OF MOTHERING. 

The biological philosophy of the whole 
matter is not far to seek. The clash of life 
against environing difficulties and limitations 
brings about the struggle for existence. One 
way of coping with certain difficulties is to 
multiply so prodigiously that some members 
of the species are almost bound to win through. 
This is the spawning solution. One of our 
British starfishes Luicfe by name, has in a 
year two i^u,!*^^: millions- Qtejjjas, so that it 



22 



Animals as Mothers 



operates with a big margin. Many worms 
and insects, fishes and frogs, illustrate this 
success of the prolific. But it is not given 
to every animal constitution to multiply so 
prodigiously, and other ways must be tried. 
Thus success in the course of ages has re- 
warded those animals that evolved in the 
direction of maternal care. Whether this 
maternal care is instinctive or intelligent, or 
both, or neither, does not matter at present ; 
the point is that maternal care pays. 

It not only secures survival, but better 
survival. Thanks to the parental care the 
young ones get a good send-off on the ad- 
venturous voyage of life. Moreover, it is 
physiologically expensive and preoccupying 
to the mother to have a million eggs in a 
year ; there is more chance of freedom and 
fullness of life when there are only a few. 
Thus we see that animals which have got 
beyond the spawning solution have a finer 
life. And if the critic reminds us of hens 
laying two hundred eggs in the year, wc 
must remind him that this is quite " un- 
natural/' for the laying period in wild birds 
is very strictly punctuated. Or if we are re- 
minded of the mammalian mother's burden 
while the young are still unborn, we can only 
answer that she is normally the better for it. 
Maternal care pays, and the premier place 
in the animal kingdom has been won by 
mammals, which have developed it to the 
highest pitch. The very name " mammal " 
strikes the note of mother. 
Surely they have their 
reward. 

But there is more. If a 
fish has a million eggs many 
of which become larval 
fishes, parental care is 
unnecessary, and it is 
obviously impossible. But 
fishes that have only a few 
eggs, like sticklebacks for 
instance, must exhibit par- 
ental care, else they would 
have been long since wiped 
out. Now, it is plain that 
fishes like sticklebacks and 
sea-horses are more inter- 
esting creatures than cod 
and herring. In higher 
reaches, notably among 
birds and mammals, it is 
clear that when the off- 
spring are cared for, and 
when they are not too 
numerous to be known 
and loved, the result is not 
only success to the new 
generation, but an enrich- 
ment of the life of the old. 

We have said too little Monk wi|h ^ 

in regard to the emotional rhMQ 




aspect, but it is difficult to get at the inner 
spirit of the animal, Take this paragraph 
from Darwin : lH Rengger observed an American 
monkey (aCebus) carefully driving off the flies 
which plagued her infant ; and Duvancel saw 
a gibbon (Hylobates) washing the faces of her 
young ones in a stream. So intense is the grief 
of female monkeys for the loss of their young 
that it invariably caused the death of certain 
kinds kept under confinement by Brehm, in 
North Africa, Orphan monkeys were always 
adopted and carefully guarded by other 
monkeys, both male and female.' 1 We have 
seen a monkey mothering a white rat, even 
when itself afraid. 

A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE. 

Here is what we may call not a 
vicious, but a virtuous circle. Prolonged 
infancy and childhood affords opportunity 
for perfecting powers before mistakes are 
too costly, and for making original experi- 
ments or testing new inborn promptings. 
But this prolongation of youth is only 
possible if there be strongly developed and 
enduring maternal (or parental) care. On 
the other hand, it is the prolonged associa- 
tion of the offspring with the parents that 
tightens the cords of love — that raises 
devoted care into affection. Evolution 
works in circles, 

Looking backwards, what do we see ? 
The carrying of eggs before they are laid is 
extended to carrying them 
afterwards. The care of the 
eggs is extended to the care 
of what comes out of them. 
Remaining about the egg 
cluster wo n Id nat u r n J ly 1 ea d 
on to brooding, and this 
would lead to nests in which 
the mother may have some 
comfort and concealment. 
On a side-track are all the 
preparations that are made 
by insects for young which 
they do not survive to see. 
A fresh start is made when 
there is viviparity, when 
the mother brings forth a 
young one like a miniature 
of herself, a young that has 
been for a longer or shorter 
time her partner, and flesh 
of her flesh. There isa grad- 
ual intensifying of care and 
protection, a forging of 
emotional bonds, a definite 
educational discipline, and 
sometimes a short period 
of co-operation. Finally* 
on the foundations of the 

-days^old baby, farriil V there rises the 

^I'M'VERSITYOFWlMlBfff^y- 



23 



PURITY 



OF 



THE TURF 




P.GWMHOUSE 



ILLUSTRATED BF 
<4 . WALLIS MILLS 



1 , IHEN the 
\A/ thing was 
YY over, 1 

made my 
mind up. 

"Jeeves," I 
said, 

M Sir ? " 

" Never again 
The strain is 
too great, I 
don't say I 
shall chuck 
betting alto- 
gether : if I 

get hold of a 

good thing for 

one of the big races no doubt 

I shall have my bit on as 

aforetime : but you won't 

catch me mixing myself up with one of 

these minor country meetings again. They're 

too hot," 

" I think perhaps you are right, sir/* said 
Jeeves. 

It was young Bingo Little who lured me 
into the thing. About the third week of 
my visit at Twing Hall he blew into my 
bedroom one morning while I was toying 
with a bit of breakfast and thinking of this 
and that, 

" Bertie ! " he said, in an earnest kind of 
voice. 

I decided to take a firm line from the 
start, Young Bingo, if you remember, was 
at a pretty low ebb at about this juncture. 
He had not only failed to put his finances 
on a sound basis over the recent Sermon 
Handicap, but had also discovered that 
Cynthia Wick loved another, These things 
had jarred the unfortunate mutt, and he had 
developed a habit of dropping in on me at 
all hours and decanting his anguished soul 
on me. I could stand this all right after 
dinner, and even after lunch ; but before 
breakfast, no. We Woosters arc amiability 
itself, but there is a limit. 

" Now look here, old friend/ 1 I said. -l I 
know your bally heart is broken and all that, 
and at some future time I shall be delighted 
to hear all about it, but M 

" I didn't come to talk about that/' 

II No ? Good egg ! " 
" The past/' said young Bingo, " is dead. 

Copyright, igz?, by 



came 



Let us say no more 
about it." 

4t Righto ! " 
" I have been 
wounded to the 
very depths of my 
soul, but don't 
speak about it." 
" I won't." 

" Ignore it. 

Forget it/ 1 

"Absolutely!" 

I hadn't seen 

him so dashed 

reasonable tor 

. weeks. 

"What I 
you about this 



to see 
morning, Bertie/' he said, fish- 
ing a sheet of paper out of his 
pocket, " was to ask if you would care to 
come in on another little flutter." 

If there is one thing we Woosters are 
simply dripping with, it is sporting blood, 
I bolted- the rest of my sausage, and sat up 
and took notice, 

,j Proceed/' I said, " You interest me 
strangely, old bird." 

Bingo laid the paper on the bed. 

"On Monday week/' he said, "you may 
or may not know, the annual village school- 
treat takes place. Lord Wickhammersley 
lends the Hall grounds for the purpose. 
There will be games, and a conjurer, and coco- 
nut shies, and tea in a tent. And also 
sports." 

11 I know, Cynthia was telling me." 

Young Bingo winced, 

-l Would you mind not mentioning that 
name ? I am not made of marble." 

" Sorry ! " 

" Well, as I was saying, this jamboree is 
slated for Monday week. The question is, 
Are we on ? " 

" How do you mean, * Are we on ' ? " 

" I am referring to the sports. Steggles 
did so well out of the Sermon Handicap that 
he has decided to make a book on these 
sports. Punters can be accommodated at 
ante- post odds or starting price, according 
to their preference." 

Steggles, I don't know if you remember, 
was one of the ga.ftg of youths who were 
reading for liome examination or other with 

i 1 TlV LnJfl I "T r*lfv TTP-J Km 



*4 



The Purity of the Turf 



old Heppenstall down at the Vicarage. He 
was the fellow who had promoted the Sermon 
Handicap. A bird of considerable enter- 
prise and vast riches, being the only son of 
one of the biggest bookies in London, but 
no pal of mine. I never liked the chap. 
He was a ferret-faced egg with a shifty eye 
and not a few pimples. On the whole, a 
nasty growth. 

" I think we ought to look into it," said 
young Bingo. 

I pressed the bell. 

*' I'll consult Jeeves. I don't touch any 
sporting proposition without his advice. 
Jeeves," I said, as he drifted in, "rally 
round." 

" Sir ? " 

" Stand by. We want your advice." 

" Very good, sir." 

" State your case, Bingo." 

Bingo stated his case. 

M What about it, Jeeves ? " I said. M Do 
w r e go in ? " 

Jeeves pondered to some extent. 

" I am inclined to favour the idea, sir." 

That was good enough for me. " Right," 
I said. " Then we will form a syndicate 
and bust the Ring. I supply the money, 
you supply the brains, and Bingo — what do 
you supply, Bingo ? " 

" If you will carry me, and let me settle 
up later," said young Bingo, " I think I can 
put you in the way of winning a parcel on 
the Mothers' Sack Race." 

" All right. We will put you down as 
Inside Information. Now, what are the 
events ? " 

BINGO reached for his paper and con- 
sulted it. 

" Girls' Under Fourteen Fifty-Yard 
Dash seems to open the proceedings." 

" Anything to say about that, Jeeves ? " 

" No, sir. I have no information." 

" What's the next ? " 

" Boys' and Girls' Mixed Animal Potato 
Race, All Ages." 

This was a new one to me. I had never 
heard of it at any of the big meetings. 

" What's that ? " 

" Rather sporting," said young Bingo. 
" The competitors enter in couples, each 
couple being assigned an animal cry and a 
potato. For instance, let's suppose that 
you and Jeeves entered. Jeeves would stand 
at a fixed point holding a potato. You 
would have your head in a sack, and you 
would grope about trying to find Jeeves and 
making a noise like a cat ; Jeeves also making 
a noise like a cat. Other competitors would 
be making noises like cows and pigs and dogs, 
and so on, and groping about for their potato- 
holders, who would also be making noises 
like cows and pigs and dogs and so on " 



I stopped the poor fish. 

" Jolly if you're fond of animals," I said, 
" but on the whole " 

" Precisely, sir." said Jeeves. " I wouldn't 
touch it." 

" Too open, what ? " 

" Exactly, sir. Very hard to estimate 
form." 

" Carry on, Bingo. Where do we go from 
there ? " 

" Mothers' Sack Race." 

" Ah ! that's better. This is where you 
know something." 

" A gift for Mrs. Penworthy, the tobacco- 
nist's wife," said Bingo, confidently. " I was 
in at her shop yesterday, buying cigarettes, 
and she told me she had won three times at 
fairs in Worcestershire. She only moved to 
these parts a short time ago, so nobody 
knows about her. She promised me she 
would keep herself dark, and I think we 
could get a good price." 

" Risk a tenner each wav, Jeeves, what ? " 

" I think so, sir." - 

" Girls' Open Egg and Spoon Race," read 
Bingo. 

" How about that ? " 

" I doubt if it would be worth while to 
invest, sir," said Jeeves. " I am told it is a 
certainty for last year's winner, Sarah Mills, 
who will doubtless start an odds-on 
favourite." 

" Good, is she ? " 

" They tell me in the village that she 
carries a beautiful egg, sir." 

" Then there's the Obstacle Race," said 
Bingo. " Risky, in my opinion. Like 
betting on the Grand National. Fathers' 
Hat-Trimming Contest — another speculative 
event. That's all, except the Choir Boys' 
Hundred Yards Handicap, for a pewter mug 
presented by the vicar — open to all whose 
voices have not broken before the second 
Sunday in Epiphany. Willie Chambers won 
last year, in a canter, receiving fifteen yards. 
This time he will probably be handicapped 
out of the race. I don't know what to 
advise." 

" If I might make a suggestion, sir." 

I eyed Jeeves with interest. I don't know 
that I'd ever seen him look so nearly excited. 

" You've got something up your sleeve ? " 

" I have, sir." 

" Red-hot ? " 

" That precisely describes it, sir. I think 
I may confidently assert that w r e have 
the winner of the Choir Boys' Handicap 
under this very roof, sir. Harold, the page- 
boy." 

" Page-boy ? Do you mean the tubby 
little chap in buttons one sees bobbing about 
here and there ? Why, dash it, Jeeves, 
nobody has a greater respect for your know- 



P. G. Wodehouse 



?5 



w 



! i 



if I can see Harold catching the 
judge's eye. He's practically cir- 
cular, and every time I've seen 
him he's been leaning up against 
something half -asleep;" 

,r He receives thirty yards, sir, 
and could win from scratch. The 
boy is a flier/ 1 

" How do you know ? " 



f * I have forgotten, sir/ 1 said Jeeves, with 
a touch of austerity, " But it was oppro- 
brious, I endeavoured to correct him, but he 
outdistanced me by yards and made good his 
escape/ 1 

"But, I say, Jeeves, this is sensational. 
And yet — if he's such a sprinter, why hasn't 
anybody in the village found it out ? Surely 
he plays with the other boys ? " 

*' No, sin As his lordship's page boy, 
Harold does not mix with the village lads/* 

" Bit of a snob, what ? M 




Let's suppose that you and Jeeves 
entered. Jeeves would stand at a 
fixed point holding a potato. You 
would have your head in a sack, and 
would grope about trying to find 
Jeeves and making a noise like a cat. 



Jeeves coughed, and there was a dreamy 
look in his eye. 

" I was as much astonished as yourself, 
sir, when I first became aware of the lad's 
capabilities. I happened to pursue him one 
morning with the intention of fetching him a 
clip on the side of the head " 

" Great Scott , Jeeves ! You | M 

li Yea, sir. The boy is of an outspoken 
disposition, and had made an opprobrious 
remark respecting my personal appearance/' 

M What did he say about your appear- 
ance ? " 



" He is somewhat acutely alive to the 
existence of class distinctions, sir." 

" You Ye absolutely certain he's such a 
wonder ? " said Bingo. " I mean, it wouldn't 
do to plunge unless you're sure/ 1 

" If you desire to ascertain the boy's form 
by personal inspection, sir, it will be a simple 
matter to arrange a secret trial." 

" I'm bound to say I should feel easier in 
my mind," I said, 

" Then if I may take a shilling from the 
money on your dressing-table " 

" What for i " 

VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



26 



The Purity of the Turf 



*' I propose to bribe the lad to speak 
slightingly of the second footman's squint, 
sir. Charles is somewhat sensitive on the 
point, and should undoubtedly make the 
lad extend himself. If you will be at the 
first-floor passage-window, overlooking the 
back-door, in half an hour's time " 

I don't know when I've dressed in such a 
hurry. As a rule, I'm what you might call 
a slow and careful dresser : I like to linger 
over the tie and see that the trousers are just 
so ; but this morning I was all worked up. 
I just shoved on my things anyhow, and 
joined Bingo at the window with a quarter 
of an hour to spare. 

The passage-window looked down on to a 
broad sort of paved courtyard, which ended 
after about twenty yards in an archway 
through a high wall. Beyond this archway 
you got on to a strip of the drive, which 
curved round for another thirty yards or so 
till it was lost behind a thick shrubbery. I 
put myself in the stripling's place and 
thought what steps I would take with a 
second footman after me. There was only 
one thing to do — leg it for the shrubbery and 
take cover ; which meant that at least fifty 
yards would have to be covered — an excellent 
test. If good old Harold could fight off the 
second footman's challenge long enough to 
allow him to reach the bushes, there wasn't 
a choir-boy in England who could give him 
thirty yards in the hundred. I waited, all 
of a twitter, for what seemed hours, and 
then suddenly there was a confused noise 
without and something round and blue and 
buttony shot through the back-door and 
buzzed for the archway like a mustang. And 
about two seconds later out came the second 
footman, going his hardest. 

There was nothing to it. Absolutely 
nothing. The field never had a chance. 
Long before the footman reached the half- 
way mark, Harold was in the bushes, throw- 
ing stones. I came away from the window 
thrilled to the marrow ; and when I met 
Jeeves on the stairs I was so moved that I 
nearlv grasped his hand. 

II Jeeves," I said, " no discussion ! The 
Wooster shirt goes on this boy ! " 

" Very good, sir," said Jeeves. 

THE worst of these country meetings is 
that you can't plunge as heavily as 
you would like when you get a good 
thing, because it alarms the Ring. Steggles, 
though pimpled, was, as I have indicated, 
no chump, and if I had invested all I 
wanted to he would have put two and 
two together, I managed to get a good 
solid bet down for the syndicate, however, 
though it did make him look thoughtful. 
I heard in the next few days that he 
had been making searching inquiries in the 



village concerning Harold ; but nobody 
could tell him anything, and eventually 
he came to the conclusion, I suppose, that 
I must be having a long shot on the 
strength of that thirty-yards start. Public 
opinion wavered between Jimmy Goodc, 
receiving ten yards, at seven-to-two, and 
Alexander Bartlett, with six yards start, at 
eleven-to-four. Willie Chambers, scratch, 
was offered to the public at two-to-one, but 
found no takers. 

We were taking no chances on the big 
event, and directly we had got our money 
on at a nice hundred-to-twelve Harold was 
put into strict training. It was a wearing 
business, and I can understand now why 
most of the big trainers are grim, silent men, 
who look as though they had suffered. The 
kid wanted constant watching. It was no 
good talking to him about honour and glory 
and how proud his mother would be when he 
wrote and told her he had won a real cup — 
the moment blighted Harold discovered that 
training meant knocking off pastry, taking 
exercise, and keeping away from the cigar- 
ettes, he was all against it, and it was only 
by unceasing vigilance that we managed to 
keep him in any shape at all. It was the 
diet that was the stumbling-block. As far 
as exercise went, we could generally arrange 
for a sharp dash every morning with the 
assistance of the second footman. It ran 
into money, of course, but that couldn't be 
helped. Still, when a kid has simply to 
wait till the butler's back is turned to have 
the run of the pantry and has only to nip 
into the smoking-room to collect a handful 
of the best Turkish, training becomes a rocky 
job. We could only hope that on the day 
his natural stamina would pull him through. 

And then one evening young Bingo came 
back from the Units with a disturbing story. 
He had been in the habit of giving Harold 
mild exercise in the afternoons by taking 
him out as a caddie. 

At first he seemed to think it humorous, 
the poor chump ! He bubbled over with 
merry mirth as he began his tale. 

" I say, rather funny this afternoon," he 
said. " You ought to have seen Steggles's 
face ! " 

" Seen Steggles's face ? What for ? " 

" When he saw young Harold sprint, I 
mean." 

I was filled with a grim foreboding of an 
awful doom. 

" Good heavens ! You didn't let Harold 
sprint in front of Steggles ? " 

Young Bingo's jaw dropped. 

" I never thought of that," he said, 
gloomily. " It wasn't my fault. I was 
playing a round with Steggles, and after 
we'd finished vre went into the club-house 

for a drink, leaving Harold with the clubs 

U v\ I %' trOI I T U r Ml L n HjM v\ 



P, G. Wodehouse 



27 




Something round and blue and but tony shot through the back-door and buzzed for the 

archway like a mustang. 

outside. In about five minutes we came out t club and was over the horizon like a streak, 

and there was the kid on the gravel practising Steggles was absolutely dumbfounded, And 

swings with Steggles's driver and a stone. I must say it was revolution even to me. 

When he saw us coming, the kid dropped the The kid certainly gave of l^|tj?£]t|. Of course, 



28 



The Purity of the Turf 



it's a nuisance in a way ; but I don't see, on 
second thoughts," said Bingo, brightening 
up, " what it matters. We're on at a good 
price. We've nothing to lose by the kid's 
form becoming known. I take it he will 
start odds on, but that doesn't affect us." 

I looked at Jeeves. Jeeves looked at me. 
" It affects us all right if he doesn't start 

at all." 

" Precisely, sir." 

" What do you mean ? " asked Bingo. 

" If you ask me," I said, " I think Steggles 
will try to nobble him before the race." 

" Good Lord ! I never thought of that." 
Bingo blenched. " You don't think he would 
really do it ? " 

" I think he would have a jolly good try. 
Steggles is a bad man. From now on, 
Jeeves, we must watch Harold like hawks." 

44 Undoubtedly, sir." 

44 Ceaseless vigilance, what ? " 

" Precisely, sir." 

44 You wouldn't care to sleep in his room, 
Jeeves ? " 

44 No, sir, I should not." 

II No, nor would I, if it comes to that. 
But dash it all," I said, " we're letting our- 
selves get rattled ! We're losing our nerve. 
This won't do. How can Steggles possibly 
get at Harold, even if he wants to ? " 

There was no cheering young Bingo up. 
He's one of those birds who simply leap at 
the morbid view, if you give them half a 
chance. 

44 There are all sorts of ways of nobbling 
favourites," he said, in a sort of death-bed 
voice. " You ought to read some of these 
racing novels. In 4 Pipped on the Post,' 
Lord Jasper Mauleverer as near as a toucher 
outed Bonny Betsy by bribing the head-lad 
to slip a cobra into her stable the night before 
the Derby ! " 

" What are the chances of a cobra biting 
Harold, Jeeves ? " 

"Slight, I should imagine, sir. And in 
such an event, knowing the boy as intimately 
as I do, my anxiety would be entirely for the 
snake." 

44 Still, unceasing vigilance, Jeeves." 

14 Most certainly, sir." 

I MUST say I got a bit fed with young 
Bingo in the next few days. It's all very 
well for a fellow with a big winner in his 
stable to exercise proper care, but in my 
opinion Bingo overdid it. The blighter's 
mind appeared to be absolutely saturated 
with racing fiction ; and in stories of that 
kind, as far as I could make out, no horse 
is ever allowed to start in a race without at 
least a dozen attempts to put it out of action. 
He stuck to Harold like a plaster. Never 
let the unfortunate kid out of his sight. Of 
course, it meant a lot to the poor old egg if 



he could collect on this race, because it 
would give him enough money to chuck his 
tutoring job and get back to London ; but 
all the same, he needn't have woken me up 
at three in the morning twice running — 
once to tell me we ought to cook Harold's 
food ourselves to prevent doping : the other 
time to say that he had heard mysterious 
noises in the shrubbery. But he reached the 
limit, in my opinion, when he insisted on 
my going to evening service on Sunday, the 
day before the sports. 

44 Why on earth ? " I said, never being 
much of a lad for evensong. 

44 Well, I can't go myself. I sha'n't be 
here. I've got to go to London to-day with 
young Egbert." Egbert was Lord Wickham- 
mersley's son, the one Bingo was tutoring. 
44 He's going for a visit down in Kent, and 
I've got to see him off at Charing Cross. 
It's an infernal nuisance. I sha'n't be back 
till Monday afternoon. In fact, I shall miss 
most of the sports, I expect. Everything, 
therefore, depends on you, Bertie." 

" But why should either of us go to evening 
service ? " 

•' Ass 1 Harold sings in the choir, doesn't 
he? " 

" What about it ? I can't stop him 
dislocating his neck over a high note, if that's 
what you're afraid of." 

" Fool ! Steggles sings in the choir, too. 
There may be dirty work after the service." 

44 What absolute rot ! " 

" Is it ? " said young Bingo. " Well, let 
me tell you that in ' Jenny, the Girl Jockey,' 
the villain kidnapped the boy who was to 
ride the favourite the night before the big 
race, and he was the only one who understood 
and could control the horse, and if the 
heroine hadn't dressed up in riding things 
and " 

" Oh, all right, all right. But, if there's 
any danger, it seems to me the simplest thing 
would be for Harold not to turn out on 
Sunday evening." 

" He must turn out. You seem to think 
the infernal kid is a monument of rectitude, 
beloved by all. He's got the shakiest 
reputation of any ldd in the village. His 
name is as near being mud as it can jolly 
well stick. He's played hookey from the 
choir so often that the vicar told him, if 
one more thing happened, he would fire him 
out. Nice chumps we should look if he was 
scratched the night before the race ! " 

Well, of course, that being so, there was 
nothing for it but to toddle along. 

There's something about evening service 
in a country church that makes a fellow feel 
drowsy and peaceful. Sort of end -of -a- 
perfect-day feeling. Old Heppenstall, the 
vicar, wis np bi th? pulpit;, and he has a kind 



P. G. Wodehouse 



29 



of regular, bleating delivery that assists 
thought. They had left the door open, and 
the air was full of a mixed scent of trees 
and honeysuckle and mildew and villagers' 
Sunday clothes. As far as the eye could 
reach, you could see farmers propped up in 
restful attitudes, breathing heavily ; and 
the children in the congregation who had 
fidgeted during the earlier part of the pro- 
ceedings were now lying back in a surfeited 
sort of coma. The last rays of the setting 
sun shone through the stained -glass windows, 
birds were twittering in the trees, the women's 
dresses crackled gently in the stillness. 
Peaceful. That's what I'm driving at. I 
felt peaceful. Everybody felt peaceful. And 
that is why the explosion, when it came, 
sounded like the end of all things. 

I call it an explosion, because that was 
what it seemed like when it broke loose. 
One moment a dreamy hush was all over the 
place, broken only by old Heppenstall talking 
about our duty to our neighbours ; and then, 
suddenly, a sort of piercing, shrieking squeal 
that got you right between the eyes and ran 
all the way down your spine and out at the 
soles of the feet. 

" EE-ee-ee-ee-ee ! Oo-ee ! Ee-ee-ee-ee ! " 

It sounded like about six hundred pigs 
having their tails twisted simultaneously, 
but it was simply the kid Harold, who 
appeared to be having some species of fit. 
He was jumping up and down and slapping 
at the back of his neck. And about every 
other second he would take a deep breath 
and give out another of the squeals. 

Well, I mean, you can't do that sort of 
thing in the middle of the sermon during 
evening service without exciting remark. 
The congregation came out of its trance with 
a jerk, and climbed on the pews to get a 
better view. Old Heppenstall stopped in the 
middle of a sentence and spun round. And 
a couple of vergers with great presence of 
mind bounded up the aisle like leopards, 
collected Harold, still squealing, and marched 
him out. They disappeared into the vestry, 
and I grabbed my hat and legged it round 
to the stage-door, full of apprehension and 
what not. I couldn't think what the deuce 
could have happened, but somewhere dimly 
behind the proceedings there seemed to me to 
lurk the hand of the blighter Steggles. 

BY the time I got there and managed to 
get someone to open the door, which was 
locked, the service seemed to be over. 
Old Heppenstall was standing in the middle 
of a crowd of choir-boys and vergers and 
sextons and what not, putting the wretched 
Harold through it with no little vim. I had 
come in at the tail-end of what must have 
been a fairly fruity oration. 

" Wretched boy 1 How dare you " 



" I got a sensitive skin ! " 

" This is no time to talk about your 
skin " 

" Somebody put a beetle down my back ! " 

" Absurd ! " 

" I felt it wriggling " 

" Nonsense ! " 

" Sounds pretty thin, doesn't it ? " said 
someone at my side. 

It was Steggles, dash him. Clad in a 
snowy surplice or cassock, or whatever they 
call it, and wearing an expression of grave 
concern, the blighter had the cold, cynical 
crust to look me in the eyeball without a 
blink. 

" Did you put a beetle down his neck ? " 
I cried. 

" Me ! " said Steggles. " Me ! " 

Old Heppenstall was putting on the black 
cap. 

"I do not credit a word of your story, 
wretched boy ! I have warned you before, 
and now the time has come to act. You 
cease from this moment to be a member of my 
choir. Go, miserable child ! " 

Steggles plucked at my sleeve. 

" In that case," he said, " those bets, you 
know — I'm afraid you lose your money, dear 
old boy. It's a pity you didn't put it on S.P. 
I always think S.P.'s the only safe way." 

I gave him one look. Not a bit of good, of 
course. 

" And they talk about the Purity of the 
Turf ! " I said. And I meant it to sting, 
by Jove ! 

JEEVES received the news bravely, but 
I think the man was a bit rattled 
beneath the surface. 

" An ingenious young gentleman, Mr. 
Steggles, sir." 

" A bally swindler, you mean " 

" Perhaps that would be a more exact 
description. However, these things will 
happen on the Turf, and it is useless to 
complain." 

" I wish I had your sunny disposition, 
Jeeves ! " 

Jeeves bowed. 

" We now rely, then, it would seem, sir, 
almost entirely on Mrs. Penworthy. Should 
she justify Mr. Little's encomiums and show 
real class in the Mothers' Sack Race, our 
gains will just balance our losses." 

" Yes ; but that's not much consolation 
when you've been looking forward to a big 
win." 

, "It is just possible that we may still 
find ourselves on the right side of the ledger 
after all, sir. Before Mr. Little left, I per- 
suaded him to invest a small sum for the 
syndicate of which you were kind enough 
to make me a member sir, on the Girls' Egg 

and Spoon Race." 

Poo ^ Ty0FM | CH | GAN 



3<> 



The Purity of the Turf 



" On Sarah Mills ? " 

" No, sir. On a long-priced outsider. 
Little Prudence Baxter, sir, the child of his 
lordship's head gardener. Her father assures 
me she has a very steady hand. She is 
accustomed to bring him his mug of beer 
from the cottage each afternoon, and he 
informs me she has never spilled a drop/' 

Well, that sounded as though young 
Prudence's control was good. But how 
about speed ? With seasoned performers 
like Sarah Mills entered, the thing practically 
amounted to a classic race, and in these big 
events you must have speed. 

" I am aware that it is what is termed a 
long shot, sir. Still, I thought it judicious." 

" You backed her for a place, too, of 
course ? " 

" Yes, sir. Each way." 

" Well, I suppose it's all right. I've never 
known you make a bloomer yet." 

" Thank you very much, sir." 

I'M bound to say that, as a general rule, my 
idea of a large afternoon would be to keep 

as far away from a village school-treat as 
possible. A sticky business. But with such 
grave issues toward, if you know what I 
mean, I sank my prejudices on this occasion 
and rolled up. I found the proceedings 
about as scaly as I had expected. It was a 
warm day, and the Hall grounds were a 
dense, practically liquid mass of peasantry. 
Kids seethed to and fro. One of them, a 
small girl of sorts, grabbed my hand and 
hung on to it as I clove my way through the 
jam to where the Mothers' Sack Race was 
to finish. We hadn't been introduced, but 
she seemed to think I would do as well as 
anyone else to talk to about the rag-doll 
she had won in the Lucky Dip, and she rather 
spread herself on the topic. 

"I'm going to call it Gertrude," she said. 
" And I shall undress it every night and put 
it to bed, and wake it up in the morning 
and dress it, and put it to bed at night, 
and wake it up next morning and dress 
it " 

" I say, old thing," I said, " I don't want 
to hurry you and all that, but you couldn't 
condense it a bit, could you ? I'm rather 
anxious to see the finish of this race. The 
Wooster fortunes are by way of hanging on 
it." 

" I'm going to run in a race soon," she 
said, shelving the doll for the nonce and 
descending to ordinary chit-chat. 

" Yes ? " I said. Distrait, if you know 
what I mean, and trying to peer through the 
chinks in the crowd. " What race is that ? " 

" Egg 'n Spoon." 

" No, really ? Are you Sarah Mills ? " 

" Na-ow ! " Registering scorn. " I'm 
Prudence Baxter." 



Naturally this put our relations on a 
different footing. I gazed at her with con- 
siderable interest. One of the stable. I 
must say she didn't look much of a flier. 
She was short and round. Bit out of con- 
dition, I thought. 

" I say," I said, " that being so, you 
mustn't dash about in the hot sun and take 
the edge off yourself. You must conserve 
your energies, old friend. Sit down here in 
the shade." 

" Don't want to sit down." 

" Well, take it easy, anyhow." 

The kid flitted to another topic like a 
butterfly hovering from flower to flower. 

" I'm a good girl," she said. 

" I bet you are. I hope you're a good 
egg-and-spoon racer, too." 

" Harold's a bad boy. Harold squealed 
in church and isn't allowed to come to the 
treat. I'm glad," continued this ornament 
of her sex, wrinkling her nose virtuously, 
" because he's a bad boy. He pulled my 
hair Friday. Harold isn't coming to the 
treat ! Harold isn't coming to the treat ! 
Harold isn't coming to the treat ! " she 
chanted, making a regular song of it. 

11 Don't rub it in, my dear old gardener's 
daughter," I pleaded. " You don't know 
it, but you've hit on rather a painful 
subject." 

" Ah, Wooster, my dear fellow ! So you 
have made friends with this little lady ? " 

It was old Heppenstall, beaming pretty 
profusely. Life and soul of the party. 

,€ I am delighted, my dear Wooster," he 
went on, " quite delighted at the way you 
young men are throwing yourselves into the 
spirit of this little festivity of ours." 

" Oh, yes ? " I said. 

" Oh, yes ! Even Rupert Steggles. I 
must confess that my opinion of Rupert 
Steggles has materially altered for the better 
this afternoon." 

Mine hadn't. But I didn't say so. 

" I had always considered Rupert Steggles, 
between ourselves, a rather self-centred 
youth, by no means the kind who would put 
himself out to further the enjoyment of his 
fellows. And yet twice within the last 
half-hour I have observed him escorting 
Mrs. Penworthy, our worthy tobacconist's 
wife, to the refreshment-tent." 

I left him standing. I shook off the 
clutching hand of the Baxter kid and hared 
it rapidly to the spot where the Mothers* 
Sack Race was just finishing. I had a 
horrid presentiment that there had been 
more dirty work at the cross-roads. Th& 
first person I ran into was young Bingo, 
I grabbed him by the arm. 

" Who won ? " 

" I don't know I didn't notice." There 
was bitterness in the chappie's voice, " It 



P. G. Wodehouse 



31 



wasn't Mrs, Pen worthy, dash her ! Bertie, 
that hound Steggles is nothing more nor 
less than one of our leading snakes. I don't 
know how he heard about her, but he must 
have got on to it that she was dangerous. 
Do you know what he did ? He lured that 
miserable woman into the refreshment- 
tent five minutes before the race, 
and brought her out so weighed down 
with cake and tea that she blew up 
in the first tw T enty yards. Just rolled 



then with a hollow groan tottered away and 
was lost in the crowd. A nasty knock, poor 
chap. I didn't blame him for being upset, 

The}?' were clearing the decks now for the 
Egg and Spoon Race, and 1 thought I might 
as well stay where I was and watch the 
finish. Not that I had much hope. Young 




came past and home on a tight 
popular winner. 



over and lay there ! Well, thank goodness 
we still have Harold ! " 

I gaped at the poor chump. 

" Harold ! Haven't you heard ? " 
' Heard ? " Bingo turned a delicate 
green, 4m Heard what ? I haven't heard 
anything. I only arrived five minutes ago. 
Came here straight from the station. What 
has happened ? Tell me!" 

I slipped him the information. He stared 
at me for a moment in a ghastly sort of way, 



Prudence was a good conversationalist, but 
she didn't seem to me to be the build for a 
winner. 

As far as I could see through the mob t they 
got off to a good start. A short, red-haired 
child was making the running, with a freckled 
blonde second and Sarah Mills lying up an 
easy third. Our nominee was straggling 
along with the field, well behind the leaders. 
It was not hard ev°n as early as this to spot 

^ v^mntifrmmwrnf' a practised 



32 



The Purity of the Turf 



precision, in the way Sarah Mills held her 
spoon that told its own story. She was 
cutting out a good pace, but her egg didn't 
even wobble. A natural egg-and-spooner, if 
ever there was one. 

Class will tell. Thirty yards from the 
tape, the red-haired kid tripped over her 
feet and shot her egg on to the turf. The 
freckled blonde fought gamely, but she 
had run herself out half-way down the 
straight, and Sarah Mills came past and 
home on a tight rein by, several lengths, 
a popular winner. The blonde was second. 
A sniffing female in blue gingham beat 
a pie-faced <kid in pink for the place- 
money, and Prudence Baxter, Jeeves 's long 
shot, was either fifth or sixth, I couldn't see 
which. 

And then I was carried along with the 
crowd to where old Heppenstall was going 
to present the prizes. I found myself 
standing next to the man Steggles. 

" Hallo, old chap! " he said, very bright 
and cheery. M You've had a bad day, I'm 
afraid." 

I looked at him with silent scorn. Lost 
on the blighter, of course. 

,- It's not been a* good meeting for any of 
the big punters," he went on. " Poor old 
Bingo Little went down badly over that 
Egg and Spoon Race." 

I hadn't been meaning to chat with the 
fellow, but I was startled. 

" How do you mean badly ? " I said. 
" We — he only had a small bet on." 

" I don't know what you call small. He 
had thirty quid each way on the Baxter 
kid." 

The landscape reeled before me. 

" What ! " 

" Thirty quid at ten to one. I thought he 
must have heard something, but apparently 
not. The race went by the form-book all 
right." 

I was trying to do sums in my head. I 
was just in the middle of working out 
the syndicate's losses, when old Heppen- 
stall's voice came sort of faintly to me 
rut of the distance. He had been pretty 
fatherly and debonair when ladling out 



the prizes for the other events, but now 
he had suddenly grown all pained and 
grieved. He peered sorrowfully at the 
multitude. 

"YY/ ITH regard to the Girls ' E gg and 

\^ Spoon Race, which has just con- 
cluded," he said, " I have a painful 
duty to perform. Circumstances have arisen 
which it is impossible to ignore. It is not 
too much to say that I am stunned." 

He gave the populace about five seconds to 
wonder why he was stunned, then went on. 

" Three years ago, as you are aware, I was 
compelled to expunge from the list of events 
at this annual festival the Fathers' Quarter- 
Mile, owing to reports coming to my ears 
of wagers taken and given on the result at 
the village inn and a strong suspicion that 
on at least one occasion the race had actually 
been sold by the speediest runner. That 
unfortunate occurrence shook my faith in 
human nature, I admit — but still there was 
one event at least which I confidently 
expected to remain untainted by the miasma 
of Professionalism. I allude to the Girls' 
Egg and Spoon Race. It seems, alas, that I 
was too sanguine." 

He stopped again, and wrestled with his 
feelings. 

" I will not weary you with the unpleasant 
details. I will merely say that before the 
race was run a stranger in our midst, the 
manservant of one of the guests at the Hall 
— I will not specify with more particularity — 
approached several of the competitors and 
presented each of them with five shillings 
on condition that they — er — finished. A 
belated sense of remorse has led him to 
confess to me what he did, but it is too late. 
The evil is accomplished, and retribution 
must take its course. It is no time for half- 
measures. I must be firm. I rule that 
Sarah Mills, Jane Parker, Bessie Clay, and 
Rosie Jukes, the first four to pass the winning- 
post, have forfeited their amateur status 
and are disqualified, and this handsome 
work-bag, presented by Lord Wickhammer- 
sley, goes, in consequence, to Prudence 
Baxter. Prudence, step forward ' ' 



Next Month : " Bertie Changes His Mind. 









by Google 



w^ 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



33 



THE 

ECCENTRIC 
BURGLAR 



B 



was in 
man's 



,LOT out one sense 
and the others 
become propor- 
tionately acute. 
Although Randal Wig- 
more 's eyes were J ban- 
daged so completely as 
to allow of no sight, and 
therefore his ears must 
have been sharper than 
usual, yet he heard neither 
the front door nor the 
door of his room opened* 
Indeed, the first indi- 
cation^ he received that 
another beside himself 
reached him when a 
manded : — 

" Can you see ? H 

Wigmore turned sharply so that he faced 
the door. He thought that the door must 
be held open, for cool air struck upon his 
cheeks, 

" What's that ? " he asked, startled. 

" What am I doing ? " 

A little silence, and Wigmore answered :— 

" I haven't the ghost of a notion what you 
are doing,'* 

(i Sure ? Can you not see that I have a 
revolver pointed direct at your forehead ? " 

Wigmore slowly shook his head. 

4t This is the first time I can truthfully say 
that I am glad that I cannot see," he asserted, 
rather sadly, 

A little while, and he heard the door shut. 
Someone advanced across the room and, so 
thought Wigmore, stood gazing down upon 
him. Wigmore sat with his hands clasped 
in his lap, his head bent and his frame in an 
attitude of hopeless huddle typical of those 
temporarily blind. There followed a long 
silence, and then the stranger said :■ — 

" Vm m burglar/' 

Wigmore tossed his lie ad a little toss, 

11 I saw a young lady pass out of the front 
door. I noticed she did not lock the door 
after her. I observed that a light burned 
low in this room. There was all the 
appearance of a house left uncared-for 

Vol. !x£v,-3. 




JAMES 




ii^LLisTRATEn ar 



his house 
voice de- 



for the time being/ I 
came in." 

ih For all practical pur- 
poses the house is empty. 
I am a useless guardian," 
said Wigmbre, 
■■ What's up ? " 
" Fever's up : in my 

" I don't understand/' 
" The doctors call it iritis, 
I believe it is inflammation 
of the iris, the coloured 
centre of your eye/* 
M Painful ? " 

f J Not only painful; but muddling to the 
brain, I can't work ; I can simply sit and 
be a nuisance, a bear, a bundle of snarl and 
nerves to my daughter, who looks after 
me. So pain isn't perhaps the worst 
part of it, although I've had pleasant er 
sensations round about the region of my 
forehead." 

" Was that your daughter I saw go out 
ten minutes ago ? " 

" There's been no one else in the house," 

fi She kept her young man waiting quite a 
long time. He paced to and fro rather im- 
patiently, I thought. I watched him for 
twenty minutes or more/* 

Randal Wigmore sat up. His frame, 
hitherto so limp, went taut, stiff. He thrust 
his head forward as though he were trying 
through the bandages that blinded him to 
peer into the very brain of the burglar. 

" Young man f " he exclaimed, sharply, 

" Have I put my foot in it ? " asked the 
burglar, concerned. " Come to think of it, 
there was no young man/' 

" You are not speaking the truth. Tell 
me what you saw." 

4< I don't want to make a greater mess of 
matters than I have already done/' said the 
burglar, annoyed with himself. 

"The way to make a greater mess is to 
tell me nothing further. You have alarmed 
mc r I am thoroughly alarmed." 

" Then I am downright sorry. Did you 
not know ? 'Original from 

VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



34 



The Eccentric Burglar 



"I'd not so much as thought of a young 
man in connection with my daughter. She 
has never mentioned any man to me. I 
cannot believe disloyalty in her + But tell 
me what you saw." 

" A young man in good position, I should 
guess, Of course, I did not particularly 
note him, but the general impression received 
was that of a well-educated, well-to-do, 
amiable, and mannerly young man r thirty 
years old perhaps, not more* He had been 
strolling along, and when your daughter 
came out of this house he went quickly to 
meet her, raising his hat and smiling, She, 
too, met him smilingly. He passed her a 
packet of sorts, chocolates I fancy, and she 
seemed intensely grateful, for she placed her 
hand on his arm and pressed the packet 
-to her bosom. To . . j -* 
out with it now 
that 1 have gone 
so far, J believe 
they were on the 
point of kissing, 
when they remem- 
bered the specta- 
tors," 

WIGMORE 
arose and 
began to 
pace the floor, 
Diana meeting a 
young man! 
Never a hint that 
any young, § man 
was to a special 
degree interested 
in her had been 
given him, yet he 
could not believe 
that Diana was a 
secretive girl- 
Diana had gone 
out, presumably 
for fresh air* She 
had been waiting 
on her father with 
great love and 
close attention, 
and he had been 
rather selfish in 
wishing her always 
to be within call of 
him. His infliction 
depressed him, and 
now, as he paced 
the room, his 
thoughts were of 
the gloomiest. He 
felt helpless. He 
feared that if he 
broached the sub* 
ject it might bring 



his daughter to active, instead of passive, 
revolt. But broach it he must. If she 
were meeting a man it must be under 1 is 
roof, not out on the pavement, 
. " Diana, Diana, Diana ! M cried the elderly 
man, as he sank back into his chair in a more 
pathetic huddle than before. " Who has 
got hold of you that dares not come to your 
father's house, but waylays you on the 
streets and hurries away with you ? My 
youngest daughter ! I cannot believe it I " 

He stopped, and the burglar at once spoke. 

"I'm glad to hear you say that, sir. As 
a matter of fact, 1 made the story up," 

"-Don't — tell— lies/' blurted out Wigmore, 
savagely. '* You have told me the truth. 
Don't aggravate the truth by trying to lie 
out of it. The truth is hard enough to bear 




UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



James Barr 



35 



without your tacking on to it hopes that will 
be unrealized. Let's drop the matter, I 
suppose you are here to ply your pro- 
fession ? " 

" Right/' admitted the burglar, 

"I'm in luck, am I not ? >p exclaimed 
Wigmore. " First these confounded eyes ; 
then last week a burglary ; now you here 
to commit a second burglary ; and on top of 
it all the news that has shaken my soul/' 

" You are Mr. Wigmore, the author, are 
you not ? " 

" I am/' 

-i I read an account of the burglary. The 
account said your daughter had suffered the 
loss of her most valued piece of jewellery, a 



MQfgft 



i 




There followed a long silence, and then 
the stranger said : ** Tm a burglar/* 



necklace, and that you had lost fifty pounds 
in Treasury notes ? " 

" That is so/ J 

" The account added that the burglar had 
overlooked some costly gold plate which had 
been in your family for years. Do you 
think it was good policy on your part .to 
mention that fact ? 1 take it the gold plate 
is in the house now/' 

Mr. Wigmore sat silent, For sure it was 
a silly thing to proclaim, and having pro- 
claimed then the gold plate should have 
been sent for safety to the bank. This had 
not been done. At the moment the burglar 
did not pursue the subject. 

" The papers made much of your loss just 
because you are ho well known a writer. 
Before the matter is ended, I feel certain 
you'll come out a financial winner, even if 
the gold plate is added to the necklace and 
money. Millions must have read of the 
calamity that befell Randal Wigmore, author, 
and a fair proportion of them will be sure to 
buy a book by the author who suffered. 
Your ' Leap Over the Precipice J is a favourite 
novel of mine. Before leaving home, know- 
ing 1 was coming here, and might by chance 
see you, I slipped my copy into my pocket. 
Tell you what I'd like you to do for me. 
Autograph the book. It isn't every burglar 



who gets his favourite author to autograph a 
book.' 1 

" I fear I can't see to sign/' 

" All the better* Sign your name like the 
children's game of blindly drawing the pig. 
That will make your signature unique/' 

4i Very well," said Wigmore, drawing forth 
his fountain-pen, 

The book was placed in the author's hand, 
and he signed, rijnal from 

SpJ^di4 J tV#^4med,t^a. burglar. "I 



36 



The Eccentric Burglar 



doubt if you have signed better when your 
eyes were wide open. Now let me tell you 
that I have a very soft spot in my heart for 
you, sir. You write so sympathetically of 
men of my walk in life, my profession. You 
give the burglar a square deal. For a fact I 
have a good notion to leave this house empty- 
handed. The police have been called in ? " 

" Yes." 

" Have they accomplished anything ? " 

" I think hot." 

" No clue ? " 

" None, I believe." 

"That's the police all over. Makes a 
burglar's business about the safest job one 
can be at. I am fond of the police. Civilians 
have interfered with me often and often. 
They wake up from sleep at the most incon- 
venient moment, or happen to arrive home 
at the very wrong minute for the industrious 
burglar and cause one to fly out of top-storey 
windows or scramble out of manholes. The 
police are never so inconsiderate. They sleep 
on. By the way, when are you expecting 
your daughter home ? " 

" When she went out I thought she would 
not be long." 

" Then I 'd best be hopping it. I don't want 
a rumpus, and where there is a frightened 
girl there is always a rumpus. No, sir, I'll 
not touch that gold plate. In this auto- 
graph of yours I have got something I never 
dreamed of possessing. I thank you for it. 
I'll scribble a note to your daughter giving 
her a hint or two about how to leave things 
when she goes^out with her young man so 
that the house will not attract burglars." 

Wigmore heard the fellow scribble some- 
thing, then tear out a page from a notebook 
and step across to the mantelpiece. 

" Mr. Wigmore, let me shake your hand. 
I am genuinely in love with your writing. 
Somehow I feel that the burglary of last 
week will turn out a matter of pleasure and 
profit to you before you've heard the last 
of it. Shake." 

The author took the burglar's hand. He 
said : — 

" I am beholden to you for not taking the 
advantage you have it in your power to take. 
My book, ' Leap Over the Precipice,' has done 
me many a good turn, but none more surpris- 
ing than this. I don't suppose it's right of me, 
but I can't help washing you good luck." 

" And I think it right to wish you all the 
good luck in the world," said the burglar, 
giving the author's hand a warm squeeze. 

Before the burglar had gone two hundred 
yards from Wigmore 's house, he came face 
to face with Diana. Acting on the spur of 
the moment, he stopped the girl. 

' Miss Wigmore, I have been paying your 
father a visit," he said, buoyantly striving 
to cover his confusion. 



The girl looked the surprise she felt. 

" Your father is my favourite author. 
See, he has autographed a book for me." 

The burglar showed the girl the autograph 
to convince her he spoke the truth. 

"I'm afraid I let the cat out of the bag," 
he added. 

'* What cat ? " asked the girl, speaking for 
the first time. 

" Just before letting myself into your 
house, I saw you meet a young man. Not 
realizing that I was telling him news, I told 
your father what I had seen." 

" How provoking ! " The girl's face 
hardened. " What did father say ? " 

" Not much." 

" What did the not much convey to you ? " 

" That he was far from pleased." 

" I should think so. And I am down- 
right angry." 

Diana turned quickly and gazed in the 
direction of the Underground railway- 
station. 

" There is just a chance that I can overtake 
Aleck before he catches a train," she said, 
speaking to herself ; then, paying no heed to 
appearances or the burglar, the girl dashed 
for the Underground station with the speed 
of a hockey player while the burglar trotted 
after her. As they approached the station 
they heard a train roar in, pause its fifteen 
seconds, and roar out again, and when 
Diana got a view of the " up " platform it 
was bare. She shot one contemptuous, 
angry glance at the puffing burglar, then, 
without a word, turned on her heel and 
hurried off towards her father's house. 

TIE burglar now felt wild with himself. 
He had put his great foot smack into it, 
and the charming girl was deeply hurt. 
This hurt him also, and he stood, his gaze 
following the girl whose brain was so filled 
with annoyance and in such a tumult from 
thoughts of her lover and her father that 
she had not the least idea she was making 
for her home as fast as ever she could run. 

As she disappeared the burglar turned to 
enter the station to book for Mark Lane, 
and his eyes caught sight of a man coming 
out of the tobacconist's over the way, and 
intent on filling his pipe, saunter leisurely 
across the road. The burglar grinned, for 
he recognized that there stood Aleck. Quite 
brazenly he addressed the young man. 

" Aleck, you are wanted." 

The young man started, straightened his 
shoulders, and looked hard at the burglar. 
He said, haughtily crisp : — 

" I beg your pardon ? " 

" Diana wants you." 

The young man glared, then exclaimed : — 

" And who the deuce mre you ? " 

4i A friend who has been and gone and 

V 111 vTh .-I IT ur ivn L rnQ.^ it & 



James Barr 



37 



given the show away. First, I told Mr. 
Wigmore that a young man — you — was 
waiting- for his daughter when she went out 
for an airing. That upset him. Then I 
told Diana that I had told her father, and 
that upset her. She fled back here, hoping 
"to intercept Aleck, but failed to find you. 
Now, as fast, she has fled home. I suggest 
that you follow her." 

" You seem to have been fairly successful 
in doing the wrong thing at the right time/' 
barked Aleck. " How does it come that you 
take such a keen interest in the Wigmores 
and their friends ? " 

" Mr. Wigmore is my favourite author. I 
dropped in to have a chat with him." 

" I am sure we are all deeply obliged to 
you," the young man said, sarcastically. 

" Very.vwell. Now oblige me," said the 
burglar^ cheerfully. " Oblige me by fol- 
lowing Diana. I fancy your lady-love may 
require your help when she meets her father. 
If all is on the square, you will not fail to go 
to her assistance. If all is not on the 
square, why, then I'm glad I have told her 
father." 

Without a word the young man strode off 
in the direction of the Wigmores' home. 

" I think that just about finishes the 
complications as far as I am concerned," 
the burglar muttered, as he made his way 
towards the barrier to have his L ticket 
punched, and to descend to the platform. In 
this fancy he was wrong, for before he passed 
the barrier a man confronted him. 

" Just a moment," this man said, peremp- 
torily. " Perhaps you won't mind giving 
me an explanation of your movements this 
evening." 

The burglar guessed at once that the man 
was a detective, and he guessed aright. 

" You've been following me ? " 

The detective nodded. 

" You know who I am ? " 

" I have seen you somewhere, and my 
recollection of you, although dim and misty, 
leads me to believe you are a burglar. But 
I cannot recall your name, or where before 
this I saw you. A little while ago I spotted 
you, and thought you would pay following. 
Your movements have been most mysterious. 
I saw you slip into a house that was 
burglarized last week. I knew the house 
to be empty except for a temporarily blind 
man. I peered through a chink in the 
blinds and saw you seated chatting with 
Mr. Wigmore. You moved about the room, 
but the chink did not allow my gaze to 
follow you. I saw Mr. Wigmore write 
something in a book for you." 

" His autograph," said the burglar, jauntily 
pulling the book from his pocket and exhibit- 
ing the flyleaf. " This autograph is the only 
thing I carried away with me." 



" I believe you stole something when you 
were in that house." 

" Why not search me ? If I had taken 
anything, it will be on me." 

" Later on I may search ; at the moment I 
suggest that we return to Mr. Wigmore, and 
hear what he has to say about your visit." 

The burglar became exceedingly concerned 
because of the state of Wigmore 's health. 

4 * He's suffering much pain. It will be better 
not to trouble him any more to-night. 
Without wishing to do anything of the kind, 
I gave him a bit of news about his daughter 
which upset him. There's a family council 
on at the moment, and I think it will not 
be a good time to break in upon them." 

"I'll chance that," said the detective, with 
decision. " Come along." 

For a man who claimed that he had nothing 
to hide, the burglar seemed sti-aiigely loath 
to go back to the house of his favourite 
author. The detective noticed this, and it 
caused him to feel sure that consideration 
for the author's feelings was not responsible 
for the burglar's hesitation. Was it likely 
that a burglar had come out of a house enppty- 
handed ? 

" Come voluntarily or else I'll place you 
under arrest," said the detective, gruffly. 

With a shrug of his shoulders the burglar 
obeyed. l , 

WHEN Diana stood before her father he 
did not greet her return quite as buoy- 
antly cordial as was his custom, and 
soon relapsed into silence. The girl stood for 
a little while gazing down upon him, her eyes 
big from sympathy and love. She advanced 
and placed her hand lovingly on his shoulder. 

" Dear dad," she said, " you have heard 
what you think is bad news of me." 

" I have, Diana. But how do you know ? " 

: *A stranger — a strange-looking man — 
stopped me in the street to tell me. He 
seemed to be sorry." 

" Informing a father of something of vital 
moment to his beloved daughter is not a 
matter to sorrow over ! " 

The girl dropped to her knees and took 
one of his hands between her two palms. 

" Yes, dad, I have been keeping a secret 
from you — a great big secret ; but it's a good 
great big secret, dad. it really is. You'll 
never guess the dodges I was compelled to 
resort to so that the secret should remain a 
secret till the proper time. A great desire 
to tell you would keep bubbling up in my 
heart till the pain of repressing it made me 
fly to my room and bury my face in the pillow 
and scream a silent scream. I was so 
impatient to delight you, dad dear. Really 
it's two secrets, but you should have the use 
of your eyes for one of them. That's why 

we 'BiWBSlmffStfflfewP at that horri<i 



38 



The Eccentric Burglar 



man has blundered and alarmed you. I cannot 
have my dear old 1 .chad «maui iji anxiety, so 
here I place surprise the first in your hands." 

" A book, Diana ? " 

" Your very own daughter's very own 
first novel, dad. And, oh ! I wish you could 
see just what a perfectly scrumptious volume 
Aleck has made of it : the lovely paper, 
lovely print, lovely binding, the beautiful 
design of the cover made especially for my 
4 The Lover at the Gate.' I wanted you so 
much to have the full use of your eyes." 

" ' The Lover at the Gate ' ! Your first 
book! Tell me?'; 

" It was such fun. Up in my room I wrote 
a love story. It took me a year to write it, 
and you never guessed what I was doing. 
I carried the MS. ^o your own publishers, and 
I had an interview wkh Aleck." 
, " The junior partner olfthe^firm ? Aleck 
Bahhferman ? " 

" He's the second secret, dad." 

" My dear girl ! " cried her father before 
the girl could say aiiother word. "My 
precious girl, it was wicked of me to, doubt 
you ! Bless your heart, why didn't you 
bring Aleck home with you to-night ?;"/ 

A resolute tug set the door-bell' merrily 
ajangle. Dikfig, jumped to her feet, cast one 
swift glance about to see that the room was 
presentable, then hurried teethe front door: 
The author heard her exclaim "'AtepkJ " 
then cry over 1 her shoulder : — 

" Dad, dearest, you're , got your wish. 
Here's surprise the second himself." ' 

Below' the Jbandages on the author's face 
there rippled "a T>road smile. Wigmore afros^ 
and stood with his hand held out in greeting; 
and as the two men shook. hands again^ 
Diana cried in surprise : — 

" What's this on the mantelpiece ? " 

Her father heard his daughter dash across 
the room. 

" My beloved necklace ! " she cried, in 
delighted astonishment. " And, dad, a roll 
of Treasury notes ! And here's a scrawl : 
9 In return for an autograph ' ! " 

Before the edge of their surprise at the 
recovery of the stolen property had worn 
off, the front door was heard to be flung 
open, and a voice sang out : — 

" A friend of mine, a detective, would like 
me to introduce you, Mr. Wigmore. May I 
bring him in ? " 

WITHOUT awaiting permission the fel- 
low stepped into the sitting-room. 
The detective followed. Diana and 
Bannerman stood gazing upon the new- 
comers. Wigmore, too, had faced them, 
although he could see nothing. 

" Ah ! " said the burglar, grinning and 
addressing Diana. " You look pleased." 
" I am pleased," admitted the blushing 



girl, dangling her newly-recovered necklace 
before her face for all to behold. 

The detective raised his brows in surprise. 
The burglar turned to him. ••■ - 

" You say you dimly remember having 
seen me somewhere, sometime. How's this 
for a, refresher ? 4 The Eccentric Burglar.' 
Does that awaken any remembrance ? " 

" Of course," exclaimed the detective in 
a burst. " The newspapers called you ' The 
Eccentric Burglar.' Your name is Eccles, 
you are of independent means, yet you 
cannot keep from breaking into houses and 
creating a muddle. Four years ago you were 
had up for entering the offices of" two K.C.'s 
engaged; on different sides of an important 
case and exchanging their briefs. f I caught 
one glimpse of you at the New Bailey." 

The burglar, nodding' his head vigorously, 
laughed. 

" Yes, I'm the Eccentric. This, my latest 
eccentricity, camePabout in this way. I read 
Mr. Wigmore's novel, ' ' Leap Over the 
Precipice.' Qne of the characters in the book 
is a burglar, arid he's the finest character of 
the lot. That tickled me immensely. w When 
a man pleases me 1 1 do him 'a good f 'fui 1 n if I 
can. I worked it out that if I burglarized 
this house, the news would appear in the 
newspapers from 6ne end of the land to the 
bther and Mr. Wigmore would find himself 
the recipient of a mighty big advertisement; 
So last week I slipped in here and burglarized 
the place. The advertisement followed just 
ks I thought it would. " 

" You ten some risks over your philan- 
thropy," said the detective. 

"What risks ?" 

" If any time during the last' week the 
valuables had been found on you I don't 
think your advertising story would have 
helped you much." 

" The goods could not have been found on 
me," said the burglar, pertly. 

" How so ? " 

" The goods were never on me. I run no 
risks that I can help. I did not take the 
necklace and the money away with me. 
Instead, I stuffed them down between the 
back and the cushion of this sofa. That's 
why the gold plate was not missing. I 
couldn't stuff it with the rest, it's too bulky. 

He stood pointing to the sofa in the room 
in which they stood. 

" I gave the matter one week's run, then 
looked in here to cause the property to re- 
appear. When talking with Mr. Wigmore 
I dug the precious necklace and the notes 
from their hiding-place and deposited them 
on the mantelpiece. I got Mr. Wigmore's 
autograph and came away." 

After a pause during which the eccentric 
burglar beamed on everyone present, rub- 

bing iflf/fiSffr.f!?.ffffi^ 0,,e who ha8 



James Barr 



39 




Diana and Bannerman Mood gazing upon the new- comers, Wigmore, too, had laced 

them, although he could see nothing. 



accomplished something very splendid, he 
suddenly demanded of the detective : — 

" Now, what about it ? " 

The detective shrugged his shoulders. 

"Are you satisfied that what I have said 
is the truth ? " asked the burglar, touching 
Mr. Wigmore's shoulder to ]et the author 
know the question was addressed to him. 

"More than merely satisfied, I really think 
you've done me a thundering good turn. I find 
myself grateful to you/' replied the author. 



" And so am I very, very grateful/" cried 
Diana, glancing from her father to Banner- 
man r then to the burglar, who grinned 
broader than ever, 

-i Oh, very well I ' J exclaimed the de- 
tective, washing his hands of the whole affair, 
He shot a straight glance at the burglar, 

" Take my advice and cut off." 

" The very thing I was doing when you 
stopped me/' laughed the burglar, making 
for the door, 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



4° 



/ HOW TO MAKE 
THE BEST OF LIFE 

' /" 

i^ 

Arnold Bennett 

III.-THE BUSINESS OF EDUCATION. 



THE object of education is to prepare 
us for complete living. Herbei$ 
Spencer said this, and as one of his 
most fervent admirers I agree with 
him, though I doubt whether he himself 
knew what " complete living " is. Even 
assuming him to have been as ill as he thought 
*he was, his own existence could not be 
described as a satisfactory illustration of the 
value of his own theories. Indeed, a man 
who would stuff his ears up in order to escape 
the conversation of his friends was without 
doubt strongly desirous of living incompletely. 
Nevertheless, the educational theories of 
Spencer, which are now at least seventy years 
old, still powerfully survive. I only mention 
his case as a warning to those, especially the 
young and cocksure, who assume that their 
practice is bound to accord yrith their theory. 
It is a fact that the people who are best 
satisfied with their own education are too 
often the very people who don't know how 
to live, either completely or incompletely. 

Anyhow, here we all are, with a mechanism 
of body and mind, destined to spend a certain 
amount of time in the universe of which each 
of us is the centre. And the problem of 
complete living is the problem of getting the 
best and the fullest we can out of the strange 
adventure. Query : What should be the 
curriculum of our education ? The query, 
of course, cannot be adequately answered. 
The most we can do towards finding an answer 
is to enumerate certain branches of knowledge 

Copyright, 1922, 



and discipline without which it is obvious 
that complete living cannot possibly be 
achieved. 

For instance, there is the aforesaid 
t mechanism of body and mind. This is our 
instrument, machine, or apparatus for the 
earthly task. And we have nothing else. 
If our bodies are not efficiently m working, 
our minds cannot work efficiently (and 
probably vice versa), and complete living is 
at once scotched. Not one human machine 
in a million will keep itself in order. Human 
machines need constant attention, and they 
cannot be attended to properly if they are 
not understood. Hence some knowledge of 
human physiology (the science of our body 
and its functions) and of psychology (the 
science of our mind and its functions) is an 
essential preliminary to complete living, and 
no branch of education can be regarded as 
more important than this. 

Unless you have some sound information 
about, and comprehension of, your own 
organism, you are in a situation similar to, 
but far worse than, that of the man who is 
given a beautiful car and starts to drive it 
away without ascertaining the principles of 
the engine and what the levers and other 
exterior gadgets really signify. He may go 
some distance and avoid trouble, but it is 
absolutely sure that he will not get the best 
out of the car, nearly sure that he will damage 
it, and fairly sure that he will have a break- 
down. All which, again, is obvious, and I 

by Arnold JN#£RSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



41 



ought to apologize for stating it to an 
enlightened public. 

And yet who among ns can put his hand 
on his liver and say with certainty : M My 
2iver is exactly there " — the liver being the 
largest organ in the human frame ? Why, 
most people don't know where the stomach 
is until they get a pain therein ■ and they 
imagine that their lungs are a kind of twin 
bags which they fill with fresh air when they 
breathe. They do not suspect that mental 
fatigue produces an actual physical poison, 
or that the skin itself is an excretory organ 
of high importance, or that a yawn is primarily 
a sign of defective aeration. They exist in a 
condition of dangerous ignorance. They are 
aware of this ignorance, and they rather like 
it, and the notion of curing it by 
a course of study is repugnant 
and even shocking to them. Tlu y 
consider that detailed information 
about their interiors is not quite 
nice, and, indeed, to be depre- 
cated. 

Such ignorance pervades 
every intellectual rank of 
society, and it is noticeably 
rife among our educa- 
tional mandarins, who 
habitually prescribe for 
certain large sections of 
young students a rule of 
life which is an outrage 
against common sense 
and common decency* 
In a word, the streets of the 
universe are packed with drivers 
of motor-cars who can't drive 
because they most comically and 
most tragically don't know at 
all what sort of a weird thing it 
is they are shoving along. 

Again, just as we cannot 
reasonably expect to attain to 
complete living unless we know 
what we are, we cannot reason- 
ably expect the same 
unless we know where 
we are, both in time 
and in space. We 
must at any rate 
have some general 
knowledge about the 
earth to which we 
are clinging as it 
whirls. After all, 
the earth is not so 
very big — and travel- 
ling makes it smaller 
every year ! The sun 
is immensely larger 
/han the earth, and 
there are stars so 
huge that if they were 



^SK 




Who can put his hand on his liver and say 
with certainty ; " My liver is exactly there fr ? 



put where the sun is they would occupy the 
whole space of the earth's orbit-- and a lot 
more beside* Therefore we need not be 
frightened of the earth as a subject. We 
ought to have some concise knowledge of 
universal geography and of universal history. 
The two go together and are properly in- 
separable, and the point of them is that 
they show us where we stand. 

We shall learn from geography the impor- 
tance of environment, and from history the 
annoying but useful truth that all acts have 
consequences, and that those consequences 
cannot be escaped. Also that society is for 
ever moving on, evolving out of something 
into something else ; that there is nothing 
final or absolute ; no goal, but a succession 
of goals ; that every- 
thing is always in a 
state of flux or change, 
and that this is the 
very essence and mean- 
ing of life t Such know- 
led ge will be reinforced 
by some study of 
science in its main 
pri neiples . Thro ugh 
combining geography 
and history with some 
science, and in no 
other way, shall we 
become possessed of 
the supreme idea of 
evolution fortified by 
conscious conviction that 
laws cannot be circum- 
Without a realization of 
this supreme conception, and with- 
out this guiding conviction, com- 
plete living can be naught but a 
sentimental dream, for the reason 
that the material is lacking for 
sound judgment of aims, conduct, 
and life- values generally. 

Thirdly, it is obvious that com- 
plete living cannot be achieved 
unless our education 
enables us to develop 
our faculties in such 
a way as to earn a 
livelihood . The chief 
thing after all is to 
keep alive and to 
perform the feat with 
pleasure to ourselves. 
No use or sense in 
magnificently edu- 
cating ourselves for 
complete living if in 
the end we have to 
depend on others for 
our bread-and-butter, 
or if we can only earn 
our bread-and-butter 



VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



42 



How To Make The Best Of Life 



in ways that are repugnant to us ! Before it 
is anything, living is, and ought to be, a 
business proposition ; and no human speci- 
men is more absurd than he who 
can do everything except keep 
himself by his own exertions. 

Further, as every human 
being is a citizen, every 
scheme of education 
should comprise the at- 
tainment of knowledge 
concerning the rights 
and duties of citizen- 
ship. The welfare of 
the State depends 
upon every citizen 
individually exercis- 
ing his rights and per- 
forming his duties in 
a sagacious manner. 
Every citizen should 
know the essentials 
about national and 
local government, 
and about the diffi- 
culties which beset 
go vernin g bodies, 
from the highest to 
the lowest, under 
whose sway he is. It 
should be equally im- 
possible for a wind- 
bag on the parish 
council, or for a 
knave in Parliament, 
to dupe him by 
spouting theatricali- 
ties. He cannot be 

said to have reached complete living until 
he has opinions of his own, and informed 
opinions, which will enable him to be a 
citizen to his own advantage and to the 
advantage of the community. 

And then, no man can be sure of living 
completely unless he studies the principles 
and practice of education as a subject in 
itself. One's own individual education must 
include a comprehension of education in 
general. Why ? When he has dealt with 
his own case, why must the individual 
trouble about general principles ? It was 
Herbert Spencer, a bachelor, who answered 
that as the chances are in favour of every 
individual becoming a parent, every indi- 
vidual should understand the subject of 
education in order that he may do justice 
to his children. The majority of parents are 
agreed that parenthood, though admittedly 
it satisfies a profound instinct, and may give 
intense joy, is a terrible responsibility, 
cause of friction and worry, and source of 
disappointment. The black side of parent- 
hood could naturally never be abolished, but 
assuredly its blackness would be mitigated 




We must have some general knowledge about 
the earth to which we are clinging. 



if parents knew a little better what they 
were about. As a fact, they too often stait 
out on the tremendously difficult enterprise 
of bringing up children without the 
slightest idea of what they aie 
about. They blunder ; they 
suffer; the unfortunate 
children suffer ; and the 
hope of complete living 
vanishes, A man may 
indeed live completely 
until he becomes a 
parent, and then find 
himself faced with 
complications which 
he had utterly for- 
gotten to prepare 
himself for, and from 
a success he deterio- 
rates into a failure* 
He has not looked 
ahead far enough. At 
twenty it did not 
occur to him to think 
of what is involved 
in the vast affair of 
producing the next 
generation ; and 
quite possibly, if 
anybody had sug- 
gested to him that 
he should arm him- 
self for fatherhood, 
he would have 
laughed as the young 
laugh at mere prig- 
gishness . A nd h e 
would have been 
wrong. When you are a parent it is already 
rather lite in the day to begin training 
yourself to be a parent, 

Finally, no man can claim to be living 
completely until he has acquired definite 
standards of right and wrong, and therefore 
any sound scheme of education must have a 
department of morals* More priggishness, 
some will say ! Well, they must say it- 

I do not pretend to have mentioned all of 
even the essentials to living completely, I 
have said nothing, for example > about the 
subject of social deportment* Nor of the 
subject of the utilization of leisure in diver- 
sion — nobody can amuse and distract him- 
self satisfactorily by merely wishing to do so, 
and many otherwise completely-living men 
have fallen short of completeness in tins 
very respect, Both these subjects are essen- 
tials. 

EDUCATION FOR WOMEN. 

1 have been employing the word "man," 
but it should be taken in the generic serse, 
to include women &ko, and my remarks 
are ,ft<^,^^4 w^p^4^y,Lto both sexes. 



Arnold Bennett 



43 



Although I do not hold that women should 
receive education , and should educate them- 
selves, in the same way as men, I do uncom- 
promising] y hold that a woman's education 
should comprise everything that I have 
already mentioned. I can conceive no reason 
why, for example, a woman should not be 
acquainted with the structure of the society 
in which she has to live, the manner in which/ 
it is developing — from what previous state 
into what future state, and the machinery 
by means of which it functions. Nor do I 
see how she can live completely without this 
knowledge. Nor do I think that she is in 
any way constitutionally debarred from 
acquiring this knowledge. Nor do I think: 
that the acquirement of such knowledge is 
incompatible with charm, 
sentiment, a good com- 
plexion, agreeable frocks, 
and the right to change 
her mind. And especially 
I do not think that a 
woman, who, in the most 
important years, has far 
more to do with children 
than a man, can proper! v 
neglect the study of the 
general principles of the 
science of education. 

As for earning her living, 
every adult who is not 
physically or mentally in- 
capable of doing so should 
pay by work for his or 
her place in society. The 
work, of course, may 
not be remunerated 
in money, but it will 
always be remuner- 
ated by something 
that money repre- 
sents. The main 
activity of a very 
large proportion of 
women is, and always 
will be, ho use kee p- 
ing, Most women, I 
regret to say, keep 
house amateurishly, 
because they have 
never been taught, or 
have never taken the 
trouble to learn, the 
craft of housekeeping 
in a common-sense 
and thorough way* 
The majority of them 
" pick it up ,J from 
other amateurs, and 
the grand result is 
that they themselves, *gL 
and the persons for 
whom they keep 





Parenthood is a terrible * 



house, are prevented by friction and in* 
efficiency from living completely — complete 
living being a highly delicate affair that 
is only too easily disorganized by trifling 
mishaps, 

This attitude and this judgment concerning 
women will be resented, perhaps violently ; 
but, then, nothing on earth arouses more 
violent resentment than the ruthless, un- 
changeable course of evolution, Excellent 
and well-meaning and very nice persons call 
it all sorts of bad names. It just calmly 
proceeds. And evolution is undoubtedly in 
the directions which 1 have indicated, 

FITTING THE MEANS TO THE END. 

Even males may be rather agitated by my 
presentation of the essen- 
tials of a sound curricu- 
lum. And well they may 
be. lam disturbed myself. 
We are so accustomed to 
the fashions of the day in 
education, and so obsessed 
by them, that anything 
which cuts right across 
them is bound to upset 
us. Truej education has 
improved. We are no 
longer in the period when 
a knowledge of Greek and 
Latin was arbitrarily con- 
sidered a sufficient outfit 
for a man intending to 
rule his fellows, and when 
the skill to talk French, 
sing, play P and em- 
broider, was all that 
public opinion de- 
manded from the 
mothers of the flower 
of the race, But the 
said period is not 
yet very far behind 
ns. Even to-day 
there are men who 
arbitrarily will say 
of another man who 
does not know the 
difference between 
Charlotte Bronte and 
Emily Bronte: " The 
fellow is unedu- 
cated," And there 
are men who will 
arbitrarily say of 
another man who is 
not aware that the 
resistance of water 
to a body moving 
through it varies as 
the square of the 
speed of the body: 
nsibilrty, „ u.".T.l«. fellow is 



we 



YOFMICHIgE 



How To Make The Best Of Life 





There are women 
who will say of a 
woman who hasn't 

seen the Russian 
Ballet: "Poor 
thing! She is (right- 

fully ignorant." 



uneducated." Similarly, there are women 
who arbitrarily will say of a woman _ who 
hasn't seen the Russian Ballet, or is un- 
familiar with the history of the suffrage 
movement : " Poor thing ! She is frightfully 
ignorant." . ■ 

We have an insufficient sense of proportion 
in our view of education. We permit our- 
selves to be astonished and scornful at the 
absence of certain fashionable scraps of 
knowledge, while accepting with equanimity 
the absence of whole bunches of knowledge 
that are of primary urgency. And we are 
thus because we do not put any curriculum 
to a proper test. In fact, we have no proper 
test, for the reason that w^e generally forget 
to ask ourselves what is the aim of education. 
At the best we seize on something silly in a 
given curriculum, and strike it fiercely out, 
or we stick some missing detail in, and think 
we have arrived at perfection* 

The way of approach is wrong. We begin 
by examining the means to the end instead 
of first ascertaining what the end is. If we 
first defined and clearly envisaged the end, 
we should be in a better position to pass a 
verdict on the means, I am inclined to 
think that no existing curriculum of any 
well-known educational institution has been 
framed exclusively in the light of the notion 
that the object of education is to attain 
complete living. And in the great historical 
institutions, such as the older universities, 



this obviously would be impossible ; for they 
are, and must be, ruled by tradition, and can 
only be modified by very slow degrees. That 
they are being modified is much. 

And here the hasty should be warned 
against an unreflecting wholesale condemna- 
tion of existing curriculums, The tendency 
of all boys, and of nearly all young men, is to 
exclaim that such and such a subject is 
perfectly futile in the practice of after-life. 
It may or it may not be, but to decide 
definitely whether it is or is not might be 
difficult. ^ We should have no bathrooms, 
railway,- bridges, flying-machines; cure for 
diphtheria, antiseptic, operations, if certain 
obstinate students had not insisted on 
studying subjects which the great wise 
world, with cheerful disdain, held to be 
perfectly futile. My complaint against exist- 
ing curriculums is not that they are full of 
futilities — they are not — but that they show 
a lack of proportion and ignore essentials. I 
wonder whether a single educational institu- 
tion could be found in this island where it is 
obligatory for young men and women over 
twenty to study the principles of the science 




The tendency of nearly all young men is to 
exclaim that such and inch a subject is per- 



Arnold Bennett 



45 



of education. Which is equivalent to won- 
dering whether there is a single educational 
expert who has effectively remembered that 
one of the chief purposes of young men and 
women is to become parents of well-brought- 
up and satisfactory children. 

WHEN SELF-EDUCATION STARTS. 

The best education is self-education. 
Indeed, all education is tending more and 
more towards self-e ducat ion. The child is 
encouraged to find knowledge for himself 
instead of having knowledge forced into him 
under a kind of hydraulic pressure. Learning 
by rote is being abandoned. General prin- 
ciples and natural laws are taking the place 
of rules, and, in short, schools bear a far less 
striking resemblance to purgatory than they 
used to do. Even the best schools, however, 
have one characteristic — they do not allow 
boys and girls to be their own masters and 
mistresses. It is after leaving school that 
real education starts— or should start. So 
that those earnest young persons who 
consider that their schooldays have been 
wasted need not repine or weep over the 
years that are gone beyond recall. Ninety- 
nine excuses out of a hundred made by the 
uneducated for their lack of education will 
not bear serious examination. 

There are two classes of pupils leaving 
school — a very small class, those who proceed 
to a university, and a very large class, those 
who proceed direct into the world, I will 
take the small class first. In former days 
only a tiny percentage of this small class 
had any genuine interest *. in their own 
education. The majority attended a univer- 
sity with the avowed intention to learn as 
littte as possible, and to have as great a lark 
as possible. This is now changed, even in 
the ancient and highly conservative univer- 
sities. The majority of undergraduates 
are as earnest as a dog w T ith a bone. And the 
curious fact is that tht more earnest they 
are, the more apt they are to call their 
university bad names, and to insist that it is 
nearly everything a university ought not 
to be, and that the authorities show extra- 
ordinary ingenuity in rendering education 
difficult or impossible. Which attitude is 
pardonable (because of its earnestness), but 
absurd and egotistic, 

The earnest undergraduate seems to have 
one grand leading idea, namely, that his 
university ought to be planned, established, 
and specially arranged to meet the require- 
ments of his own particular case. Now the 
university does not regard the affair in quite 
this light. The earnest undergraduate is 
important ; he may be as important as a 
whole town, but compared to the university, 
he is somewhat like a town built by a river. 




The child is encouraged] to find knowledge 
for himself. 

The river was there centuries before the 
town, and it will be there centuries after the 
town has vanished, The tow T n is a mere 
incident in the life of the river. The indi- 
vidual undergraduate is a mere incident in 
the life of the university. The university 
caters, and must cater, for the average 
undergraduate. There is no average under- 
graduate, really. Hence every under- 
graduate must adapt himself more or less — 
and usually rather more than less — to the 
university. 

The more strenuous the student the more 
adaptation has to be performed. But the 
most singular, peculiar N and purposeful 
student can r if he is modest enough, discover 
somewhere in the university the material 
necessary for his education. Idle for him 
to inveigh against old-fashioned fixed courses 
of study. He must be clever enough to use 
them usefully. Idle for him to cry out upon 
the lack of apparatus. The finest work has 
always been done with the most primitive 
apparatus. 

Idle for him to criticize dons, tutors, and 
professors. He is his own chief don, tutor, 
professor. The university will never educate 
him ; it will merely provide a field where he 
can educate himself. And it will leave him 
free to exploit the vast organization as he 
chooses. There are certain physical things 
that the university will not permit to him, 
but h<H^)' h e|^&^i^f ^^J-|^vdf.Jherein is one 



4 6 



How To Make The Best Of Life 



of the greatest advantages of a university. 
If it genuinely teaches anything, it teaches 
the student to manage himself, and places 
but small obstacles in the way of him making 
a perfect fool of himself if he so chooses. 
This is a high virtue in a university. Not 
that I am indiscriminately praising univer- 
sities. Far from it ! Universities are not 
more perfect than undergraduates — and not 
less. Universities are terribly deficient. 
And I hate to hear reactionary fathers 
saying that the deficiencies don't really 
matter since a youth goes to a university 
to meet his fellows and lead the communal 
life and accustom himself to self-reliance 
and the art of give-and-take. If the uni- 
versities had no educational deficiencies, 
the youth would still meet his fellows and 
live the communal life and acquire self- 
reliance, and so on. But, on the other hand, 
I do hate to hear earnest undergraduates 
discoursing upon their unique difficulties. 
University education cannot be handed out 
complete like a cake on a tray. It has to be 
fought for, intrigued for, conspired for, lied 
for, and sometimes simply stolen, If it had 
not it would scarcely be education. 

FREE STUDENTS IN THE WORLD. 

I come now to the immensely larger class 
of students leaving school, those who do not 
proceed to a univer- 
sity. Many among 
them, of course, sell 
their school - books 
and thank Heaven 
they have done with 
education for the rest 
of their lives. But 
many, having per- 
ceived that school is 
merely the portico of 
the vast mansion of 
knowledge, seriously 
determine to get in- 
side. These will either 
atten d eve n in g -cl asses 
or pursue private 
study, or do both. 
In any case, the dis- 
advantages are con- 
f id erable — a nd not 
the least disadvan- 
tage is the lack of 
time. But the ad- 
vantage of untram- 
melled freedom within 
such leisure as they have is tremendous 
and inspiring. They can follow their own 
ideas in the execution of the gigantic affair 
of learning to understand, sj-mpathize with, 
and enjoy the world, and of fulfilling them- 
selves so that they shall live completely. 




lip * 



To many aiudents not 
is the lac 



They have everything to choose from. They 
are at liberty to make their own mistakes 
and to correct them in their own way. They 
are genuinely entitled to say that they are 
engaged in $e //-education. I can imagine 
few spectacles more exhilarating than the 
spectacle of the young man or girl sitting 
down eagerly to the great business. The 
idea of the first evening, or the first early 
morning, positively palpitates with drama. 
The only thing that might reconcile me to 
growing young again would be the mar- 
vellous opportunity of starting quite afresh 
to educate myself. 

Naturally and rightly, all young students 
are extremely ingenuous. Simple-minded 
creatures, with hopes as absurd as their 
methods ! But they are fine, And their 
mistakes would be reduced, to a minimum 
if they would bear in mind a few obvious 
considerations. There are, for instance, two 
preliminary considerations. The first .is that 
in the young a feeling of indolence and a 
disinclination for effort are almost always a 
sign that the physical organism is out of gear. 
Healthy young people are never indolent. 
They cannot be. Energy doesn't trickle 
out of them ; it bursts out of them, The 
feeling of indolence, therefore, should be 
treated physically rather than mentally. 
The second consideration is that boredom in 
study proves either that the subject is 

distasteful (but none 
of my essential sub- 
jects could be dis- 
tasteful to a repre- 
sentative mind), or 
that the method of 
study is wrong, All 
study, all self -educa- 
tion, should be inter- 
esting. If it is not, 
then -it wants altering. 
Of course, a small 
percentage of indi- 
f> * Jfc i)H*J^ t viduals are incapable 
^fjfrttun?'*'' .t't F - °f education under 
even the most favour- 
able circumstances ; 
and they must rccon- 
c i 1 e themselves to 
incomplete living. 
They have been born 
moribund. Dullness 
is their appointed 
portion, and there is 
nothing more to be 
said. 
These two preliminary considerations 
having been dealt with, we can pass on. 
The most important advice to be offered to 
the fortunate band of enthusiasts for self- 
education jr, not to begin to specialize 

to ° ^EEHT^CfflHSN P 60 ^' while 



the least disadvantage 
k of time. 



Arnold Bennett 



47 



conscious of a keen desire for knowledge, do 
not at first feel a desire for any special know- 
ledge, though in the end they are bound to 
specialize ,. for the mere matter-of-fact reason 
that nobody will be silly enough to try to 
know everything in the same degree. These 
undecided persona are 
apt to fall into the 
error of deciding im- 
pulsively for the mere 
sake of deciding, and 
to decide wrongly ; 
which means wasted 
energy and a new 
start. They would do 
well to indulge in a 
period of wide miscel- 
laneous browsing over 
the limitless fields of 
knowledge, till the in- 
terior voice indicates 
the true direction. It 
is probable that the 
most successful self- 
educators have begun 
with an orgy of indis^ 
criminate mental 
voracity, But even 
when the true direc- 
tion is never in doubt M 
specialization should 
not be hurried. 
General education 
must precede special 
education, or the 

consequences will be lopsidedness, lack of pro- 
portion, and incomplete living in an intensified 
form. Specialization must have a firm basis, . 
enormously broader than itself. No special 
branch of knowledge can be fully understood 
aJone. It must be put into relation with the 
whole sum of knowledge. And whether the 
specialization has to do with one's livelihood, 
or whether it is an end in itself, the rule 
holds. Further, if the fullest possible amount 
of vital happiness is to be achieved, the 
entire process of self -education must be 
conducted with that object in view. 

It would be untrue to say that life is too 
short for both general and special education. 
Life is neither too long nor too short ; it has 
the right length. And the more sagaciously 
it is employed, the longer it will appear to be. 
General and special education can un- 
doubtedly be fitted into the span of existence, 
and, in any case, it is better to learn to live 
well generally than to learn to live well in 
one particular, neglecting all the other 
particulars. A man who slips into this error 
is like the athlete who over-develops his 
muscles and dies early from heart disease. 
The plan of education must be carefully laid. 
And the execution of the plan must be 

NEXT MONTH : " 




constantly checked by its action upon the 
life lived. In the ardour of self- education, 
the aim of education is too often quite lost 
sight of, and, without knowing it, the 
devotee veers further and further away 
from the goal. Is it not notorious that the 

studious don't know 

how to live, and are 

strangers in the world 

— in which every man 

should be ashamed to 

be a stranger ? If 

education does not 

teach you to like life, 

does not create a wish 

to get closer to life, 

and to various sorts 

of life, does not show 

you that no sort of life 

is unworthy to be 

understood or devoid 

of interest, does not 

inspire you to plunge 

deeply into the great 

stream of existence 

instead of standing in 

priggish repudiation 

on the banks — if it 

does not do all this, 

then it is futile. It is 

indeed a waste of time, 

and a man might as 

well be employed in 

counting sheep asthey 

pass through a gate. 

Lastly, it is to be remembered, in all 

solemnity, that though education has a 

beginning, there is no end to it. The more 

you know the more you find you don't know* 

Only the wisest know what fools they are, 

and this realizing of un wisdom is the 

supreme sensation, for it puts one in one's 

place, and displays the wonder of life as 

nothing else can. As education widens, so 

does the marvellous vision of the universe 

widen, and the idea of God take a more noble 

and mighty shape, Men who have learned 

to live completely in the everyday sense 

will die in the attempt to live still more 

completely, The sight of a man striving 

after knowledge in his last years, strenuously 

using the remnant of existence to add 

treasure to treasure, has excited the laughter 

of the thoughtless, who demand ; " What 

will he be able to do with it ? " Nobody 

knows what he will be able to do with it. 

But unless all science is built upon a total 

falsity, nothing is or can be lost, either on 

this side the grave or the other. It is 

asserted that we know, and can know with 

certainty, nothing about the other side of 

the grave* We ought to know this, anyhow, 

that ultimate waste will not occur. 

sxABTiiitfJIiif ^fcfffcOF MICHIGAN 



The most important advice to enthusiast* for self. 
education is not to begin to specialize too early 



48 



PERPLEXITIES. 

By HENRY E. DUDENEY. 



606.— DIGITAL SQUARES. 

The nine digits may be arranged in a square in 
many ways so that the numbers formed in the first 
row and second row will sum to the third row. ' I give 
three examples, and it will be found that the difference 
between the first total, 657, and the second, 819, is 



2 


1 


3 


* 


3 


9 


6 


5 


7 



2 


7 


3 


S 


4 


6 


s 


1 


9 



the same as the difference between the second, 819. 
and the third, 981; that is, 162. P{ow, can you 
form eight such squares, every one containing the 
nine digits, so that the common difference between 
the eight totals is throughout the same ? Of course, 
it will not be 162. I proposed the question to myself 
and was surprised to find how easily it may be done. 
Yet it needs a little preliminary thought. 



607.— LETTER MULTIPLICATION. 

< Here is a little multiplication sum in which the 
six letters employed represent six digits. One of 
these digits is a 5 and there is no o. What are the 
actual figures ? 4l Itis important to note that the six 
letters in the product are repeated in the multiplicand 
and multiplier. This is a guide to the solution, though 
the puzzle, perhaps, is not very easy. 
N D T S A 
R 



STRAND 



608.— FOLDING A PENTAGON. 

I showed in our issue for February, 19 19, that a 
perfect pentagon may be formed from a ribbon of 
paper by simply tying it into an ordinary knot and 
pressing flat, and in February last we saw how a square 
piece of paper may be folded to form a pentagon. For 
the latter I expressed my indebtedness to Mr. T. 
Sundara Row, of Madras, and this gentleman now 
sends me some exceedingly clever and interesting ex- 
tensions of the problem. The exercises are, for the 
most part, too difficult for these pages, but I derive 



1 



from one of them the following elegant curiosity, which 
is intended to interest rather than to perplex, for the 
reader will hit on the solution immediately. 

Given a ribbon of paper, as in the illustration, of any 
length — say more than four times as long as broad— it 
can all be folded into a perfect pentagon with every 
part lying within the boundaries of the figure. The 
only condition is that the angle ABC must be the 
correct angle of two contiguous sides of a regular 
pentagon. How are you to fold it ? 



609.— MISSING WORDS. 

The following sentences, by C. A. V., will be found 
to read quite naturally when the missing words are 
supplied. Each missing word contains as many letters 
as there are dots, a new letter being added at every 
step, like a, an, nap, pant, paint, etc. 

"No; . do not like . .," said the man in a black . . . 
on a sad occasion ; " though the .... we have just 

witnessed was certainly impressive. If you a 

man, you a power of rein- 
vestigation ; and there will be a ,...:.. . 

against when the .... 

of this is recognized." 

610.— A CHESS CHARADE. 
After tea I had challenged my whole to a game ; 

But results I so faultily reckoned, 
I got into my first, and, alas, to my shame, • 

I could not get out of my second. 

ti- p.- 

Solutions to Last Month's Puzzles. ' 

602.— MARKING A TENNIS COURT. 
The 10 points -ltttered in the illustration are all 
" odd nodes/' that is points from which you can go in 
an odd number of directions — three. Therefore we 
know that five lines (one half of 10) will be required to 
draw the figure. The dotted lines will be the four 
shortest possible between nodes. Note that you 




cannot here use a node twice or it would be an im* 
prpvement to make E H and C F dotted lines instead 
of'C D and G H. Having fixed our four shortest lines, 
the remainder may all be drawn in one continuous line 
from A to K, as shown. When you get to D you must 
run up to C and back to D, from G go to H and back, 
and so on. Or you can wait until you get to C and go 
to D and back, etc. The dotted lines will thus be gone 
over twice and the method shown gives us the minimum 
distance that must be thus repeated. 

603.— TWO ANAGRAMS. 
The answers are ONE WORD and THE WIGS. 



604.— ANOTHER OLD ENIGMA. 
The answer is SLEEP. 



605.— THE MUDBURY WAR MEMORIAL. 
The number of posts in hand must have been 180, 
and the length of the enclosing line 330 feet. Then, 
at a foot asunder, they would require 150 more, but at 
a yard apart 7 10 would suffice and they would have 
70 too many. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



4'J 




— — — «— * 




What is your name, little boy ? ** she asked, looking down at him all 

smites and dimples. 



A PECK OF TROUBLE 



V z; 



^AUGUSTUS MUIR 

ILL.\I$TKAT£Z> BY FRANK GrlLLETT.Rl 



V 



AT a milliner's window in Bond Street, 
/\ Lady Babington \nie Catkins, of 
jf J^ New York, and now wife of an 
English baronet) paused. But it was 
not the hats that caught her fancy ; indeed, 
her back was to the disdained creations of 
some nimble-fingered being with a Parisian 
name and a Peckh^m parentage, It was a 
figure by the kerb that drew Lady Babington 
to a stop. 

The figure by the kerb, though small, was 
arresting : a boy, seven or eight years old. 
He had a sad face, with very wise grey eyes, 
and tousled hair that stuck out, like the eaves 
of a thatched roof, from beneath a dirty 
Balmoral bonnet. His knees, brown as 
Brazil nuts, fronted the world under the 
fringe of a tiny kilt that had once rollicked 
in all the colours of the Royal Stewart 

Vol. ixiv, — 4„ Copyiighl;, i9« a by Augustus Muir 



tartan, but was now the neutral tint or 
haggis t In his right hand was a tin bowl. 
This, with an appealing gesture, he extended 
to Bond Street. 

His left hand gripped the tails of an over- 
coat, once black but now so green that one 
almost had the illusion of nigh pastures 
with grazing sheep. Inside the rustic over- 
coat was an old man, shaggy of beard, gnarled 
of fist, bent of back, and — as a printed ticket 
told the world — blind. Tucked away into 
the beard was the butt end of a fiddle, which 
he sawed with ferocity. 

Between the old man arid the small boy 
sat a fox-terrier dog with a bright eye and 
an exploring nose. H^ was tethered to the 
old man's braces, He had an obvious dis- 
taste for the fumes of automobiles, and with 
bared teeth, daiicd vea^ming. glances at their 
in the u.i!J(ll lfc, «riKtii rtitvrflLnlGflN 



5<> 



A Peck of Trouble 



departing back tyres. But he solaced him- 
self by occasionally licking the small boy's 
knees. 

44 Charming ! " whispered Lady Babington 
to herself, the feather in her toque waving 
in acclamation like the ensign on a battle- 
ship. She stepped forward. 

She thrilled in every fibre with a slowly 
forming determination that had long been a 
vague resolve. 

41 What is your name, little boy ? "' she 
asked, looking down at him all smiles and 
dimples. 

44 Hector," said the boy, the tin bowl of 
beggary moving forward a couple of inches. 

44 Hector ? Ah ! And how is the old 
man to-day ? " 

44 Fine, thanks." The tin bowl again 
moved two inches. 

44 How is business ? " 

44 Fine, thanks," said Hector. He looked 
at the tin bowl. " Might be better," he 
added, reflectively and with deep meaning. 

As Lady Babington 's half-crown tinkled 
into the bowl the ancient minstrel ceased 
fiddling, removed his shaggy tam-o'-shanter 
bonnet, and abased himself. " Half a 
croon," whispered Hector, behind his cupped 
hand. The minstrel again abased himself 
nearly to the kerb. Lady Babington patted 
the small boy's head. " Good-bye, Hector," 
she murmured, turning away. 

And there was a sob in her voice. But 
the sob was a sob of fiercely vivid ioy that 
sprang from a suddenly forming resolution. 

LADY BABINGTON was a sticker. From 
^ the moment the founder of the tribe of 
Catkins had been helped down the May- 
flower gang-plank, very green about the gills, 
and announced that here he was and here 
he meant to stay, the Catkins had all been 
notable as stickers. She was one of these 
Go-and-get-it women. As a thinker, she 
could do four thousand revolutions per 
minute on full throttle. And to compare 
her actions with forked lightning was to 
conjure up the picture of an illuminated 
snail lagging sluggishly along a zigzag path 
on a blue-black sky. 

She made up her mind at 6.30 that she 
would adopt Hector, and within ten minutes 
was stepping into her car to get him. She 
knew in an instant where to find Hector 
and the old man. She had followed them on 
sundry occasions on their itinerary. Up to 
the moment when they nightly plunged into 
the darkness of an alley in Gray's Inn Road 
at nine o'clock and disappeared, she had their 
route mentally mapped out. 

As she suspected, they were at this moment 
in the Strand opposite Charing Cross Station. 
It was getting dark ; street lamps were lit. 
A grey muffler was now wrapped round 



Hector, so that a stub of chilly nose rested 
redly on its folds. The dog yawned occasion- 
ally with a gentle shiver, now sampling like 
a connoisseur the varied odours of the 
Strand, now dozing off into some golden 
canine paradise of Parnassan scents. The 
ancient minstrel still enthusiastically hurled 
at the ears of the careless millions a devasta- 
ting blast of melody. Lady Babington 
descended from her limousine and approached 
the curious trio for the second time on that 
momentous day. 

44 I want to talk with you alone," she 
whispered to the old man. " Come down 
this side-street to the Embankment, where 
we'll have peace." 

Looking back, she could discern a swift 
council of war. Then a cavalcade of three 
set out in her footsteps — Hector, followed 
by the dog, and in the rear-guard the old 
fiddler, to pick up stragglers, as it were, 
from their column. 

Lady Babington dropped on a shadowed 
seat, and Hector, with his tin bowl still out- 
stretched, brought the procession to halt in 
front of her. The blind man stood waiting 
hat in hand, uncertain, on the qui vive. 

*' What is your name ? " she began. 

44 Neil McGraw, mem. But they call me 
Auld Neil." 

44 Have you got a wife, Old Neil ? " she 
began, tenderly. 

44 Three o' them, mum. Deid thae mony 
years." 

" But — but have you no one else ? " 

" There's Hector— an' Jock." The dog 
gave a quick bark as one who remarks : 
44 That's me ! " Old Neil prodded Jock 
with his boot. 44 Haud yer gab ! " he 
growled. 

44 But who looks after you ? " persisted 
Lady Babington. M Is there no woman in 
the house ? " 

44 Aweel," ruminated the old man, 44 there's 
mebby Mistress O'Hagan doonstairs." 

Lady Babington exhaled a sigh of relief. 
44 In that case," she pursued, " what I've got 
to suggest won't sound so awful. Listen ! " 

Old Neil grasped his fiddle in an attitude 
of defence. Hector's cold little nose seemed 
to gleam over the ramparts of muffler like a 
searchlight. Jock, aware of excitement, 
jumped from chill haunches and waved an 
expectant tail. 

44 This is what I want," went on the richly 
smooth voice of Lady Babington. " I want 
to take little Hector away to my own home 
to live." 

There was an uncertain pause. 

In the darkness Hector fumbled for Old 
Neil's hand, and Old Neil, thus emboldened, 
cleared his throat. 44 Na, na," he said, 
deliberately. ' Na, na." 

'[I^ouldr't you iikertfoA^jrie and live With 



Augustus Muir 



5» 




A - ^ 



me, Hector ? It's a beautiful house, 
I have no children, and you'll have 
nice food, nice clothes. You'll be 
a little gentleman and ride 
mo tor -car. Jl 

M Thank ye/* said 
Hector, dryly, '* but 
I'm biding wi* Auld 
Neil/' 

J < But you/' she 
cried, addressing the 
old fiddler, ' l surely you 
wouldn't stand in 
Hector's way ? You 
see the chance it is for 
him ? I want to make him my 
own son. Hell grow up 
gentleman, rich, respected, with 
wealthy friends — you wouldn't 
be so selfish as to deny him all 
that ? " 

" But bide a wee, mum ! Is 
there nothing else ? There's 
nae catch in it somewhere ? 

" Yes/' said Lady Babington, 
slowly. " I've thought it all 
over, and there is something 
else, After Hector comes to 
me, you must promise never to 
seek him out, I want him to 
grow up a gentleman. You 
wouldn't stand in his light, Old 
Neil ? JJ 

u Ask the bairn himseiy said 
the old man. " Ye heard all 
the lady said, Hector ? " 

"No J sae fast/' de- 
murred Hector. f " Mebby 
I woulrina like to decide 
the nicht, mum. Me and 
Auld Neil dinna jump at 
things rash-like." 

" Ay/' cried Old Neil, 
"that's richt! Will it 
please ye r mum, if we gie 
the answer to-morrow ? " 

Lady Babington frowned 
they would not be moved. 

" Very well/* she said, at length, 
me here at seven o'clock to-morrow 
and I'll hear what your decision 
night 1 " 

She crossed the road. They were alone. 
The river lappered on the hewn stones at 
their side ; in the night wind the street 
lamps winked ; and Old Neil and Hector 
faced each other. 

" Guid sakes 1 Jl said Hector. 

" Lawk a mussy I " said Old Neil, 

M She's daft/' said Hector, contemptuously. 

" Na, na, she means it/' said Old Neil, in 
hollow tones* 

'" A big hoose/' pondered Hector. " Gtud 
grab I " 



Old Neil produced an old belt and 
leathered him ; arid Hector bawled 

robustly. 

It w f as clear After supper Old 



" Meet 
night, 
is, Good 



Old Neil blew his nose. He tried to make 
it ring like a blast of scorn on all large houses 
and luxurious food and the opulence of 
motors. But the result was mournful and 
quavering, " Would ye leave me, Hector ? " 
he ventured. " But there, look ye ! We*ll 
hae a crack about it the nicht. We'd best 
get movin' or we'll be late on the pitch." 

And Hector led him back from the 
soft gloom of the riverside to the 
pallid blaze of the raucous 
Strand. 

That night, the same in- 
stant as Lady Babington 
(with serene confidence in 
herself and her blandish- 
ments) was busy on the 
telephone engaging a 
nursemaid and a 
governess. Hector and 
Old Neil were stum- 
bling up the darkly 
treacherous stairs 
that led to their 
home. 

After supper, Old 
Neil lit a clay pipe 
with the seasoning of 
years in its brown sheen, 
and looked into the fire 
with eyes that could see 
most excellently. (His 
'* BLIND" notice dan- 
gled on a convenient 
nail,) It was Hector's 
job to " clear away," 
and he performed it 
with the slickness of 
an expert, shuffling the 
dishes on a tray and 
with them diving down- 
stairs. It was while 
mounting again that 
Hector realized the crisis 
which was impending. 
Neil invariably took from 
its case a cherished violin and played — not 
this time for the callous public, but for 
himself alone. 

To-night Old Neil was silent. 
With knitted brows Hector regarded his 
protector. 

" About your goin p to bide wi* this lady/' 
began Old NeiL " Are ye no' happy enough 
wi" me, laddie ? JJ 

* f Ou, ay/' said Hector, His parental 
memories were so misty as to be negligible. 
With Old Neil, the fiddler, had been his only 
remembered home. 

u You're no' thinkin' o' leavin' ? " 
" I was not/' said Hector, " But I've 
thocht aboot it again — and I'm gain* ! " 
Old Keii jerii&d upright in his chair. His 




5* 



A Peck of Trouble 



mouth swung open with the slow motion 
of harbour gates. As he stared at Hector, 
his aspect was that of a flabbergasted 
hippopotamus trying to squint at an 
impertinent canary perched blithely on its 
ear. 

" Wha-a-at ? You're goiri ? Laddie, are 
ye daft ? " 

A slow smile spread over Hector's face. 
Of a sudden he broke into the initial steps 
of the Highland Fling, and " hooched " like 
an intoxicated gillie. 

" The laddie's mazed," gasped Old Neil, 
blankly. " He's gane wud ! " 

"I'm no' sae daft ! " cried Hector, ceasing 
to pirouette. " Wouldna you go if ye had 
the chance ? " 

" And leave me — Auld Neil — what has 
looked after ye since ye were a bairn ? " 

" Ay," said Hector. 

" I'll no' stand in yer way." 

" No," said Hector. 

" Yer mind's made up ? " 

" Ay," said Hector. 

" Then ye 're an ungratefu' young dog. 
It's a thrashin' for ye this nicht." 

Old Neil produced an old belt and leathered 
him ; and Hector bawled robustly. 

"I'll no' stand in yer way," repeated Old 
Neil, " but if ye havena changed yer mind 
by the mornin', it's another thrashin' for 
ye." 

And after breakfast, Hector, fired by the 
wonders of a project about which he remained 
dourly silent, took it like a man. 

SEVEN-THIRTY was musically chiming 
in the hall of the Babingtons' house 
when Hector was led in. He was awe- 
struck for a moment. Mellow light gave 
the panelled hall a glow like the dim mys- 
teries of a church. He half expected soft 
and fluterKke music from a pipe-organ. 
Lady Babington led him across a carpet 
that felt as thick and spongy as a High- 
land bog, and they climbed the broad 
stairway. 

'• This," said Lady Babington, throwing 
open a door on the top landing, after a 
terrific bout of circular mountaineering 
towards a gorgeous stained-glass cupola in 
the roof/ ." is your nursery, my dear. 
Martha, this is Master Hector." 

" Och, the darlint ! " cried the waiting 
nursemaid in a rich Irish brogue, rushing 
joyously forward to her sturdy charge. 
•• Yes'm," added Martha. " Master 
Hector'm." 

Hector eyed her belligerently. He could 
see, with his practised young eye, that she 
was one of the kissing sort. And Hector 
objected to kissing. He determined to come 
to terms on the subject as soon as Lady 
Babington left the room. 



As he suspected, when Lady Babington 
had hurriedly descended to dress for dinner, 
Martha pounced upon him. 

" I thocht ye would try that on ! " he 
cried, neatly side-stepping. " You women- 
folk dae nothing but kiss. Hae ye got ony 
sweeties on ye ? " 

The beaming Martha produced some black 
peppermint balls, and held them behind her 
back while she lowered inviting lips. 

Hector pondered on the subject of pepper- 
mint balls for a moment, then held out his 
hand. 

" Kiss ahead," he muttered feebly, up- 
lifting his face with the grave resignation 
of a martyr who endures in a good cause. 

After a careful exploration of the house 
from basement to attic, he was undressed 
by Martha's quick fingers. Garbed in a 
dressing-gown of padded silk, his footsteps 
were guided to the bathroom on the landing 
below. Martha seated him on a cane- 
bottomed chair while his bath filled. 

** Are ye goin' to dook me in that water ? " 
he demanded, removing his peppermint from 
one cheek to another. 

" Sure and it's her ladyship's orders, 
Master Hector. ' Bath every night at seven, 
Martha,' says she. In ye jump ! " 

" I'll gie ye another kiss," said Hector, 
" if I dinna need to go in." 

Martha picked him up, stripped off the 
dressing-gown, and the next moment he 
was kicking and yelling in eighteen inches 
of warm water. Martha scrubbed. Then 
came a sudden change. Hector lay back 
quiescent. He wriggled his toes and drew 
deep breaths of contentment. 

M This is gr-r-rand ! " he ejaculated. " I 
didna think a bath could feel so guid. Hae 
ye any other things as guid as this in the 
hoose ? Oo-oo, mon ! " 

And the soft hot towel with which he was 
dried was like the caress of an angel's wing. 
Hector was tucked into bed feeling like an 
emperor. The nursery fire sent darting 
shadows across the dim red glow on the 
ceiling. This was a great house — a wonderful 
house — a great adventure — the greatest ad- 
venture he had ever struck. And it seemed 
as if it would be successful. He looked up 
sleepily. Lady Babington bent over him. 
But he regarded her not. Contentment 
melted in all his bones. He felt a moistily 
warm touch on his month. " Gosh ! " he 
muttered, feebly. " Thae women at it 
again ! " And so he slept. 

HE slept ; but with a start he was awake 
again. Sleep ? Sleep was not for 
him ! It was his time for action ! 
His eyes closed, his head slipped forward. 
Then with a jerk he roused himself once 
more . | ti H-cpfi wed ,-hia 4 tfyftft" determinedly on 



Augustus Muir 



53 



the ceiling. He would keep awake— or, by- 
thunder, he would allow anyone with impunity 
to stigmatize him as a mere flabby English- 
man ! The hours passed. Bedroom doors 
shut, On the stairs leading to their attics 
the maids' steps creaked- Midnight rumbled 
out from a church tower. 

On the stroke of one Hector leapt nimbly 
out of bed. In the light from the embers he 
quickly dressed himself. And carrying his 
shoes in his hand, he opened the nursery 
door and stole down the long stairs with the 
practised tread of one who knows the true 
inwardness of silence. 

He reached the ground floor, but did not 
pause. Down to the basement he moved 
slowly in the darkness, step by step ; and 
without a tell-tale creak he opened a door. 
Gently he switched on the light. It was the 
larder. 

He took a quick survey, and unfurled 
from his arm a pillow-case he carried. 

Ten minutes later he crawled out of the 
pantry window and reached the garden wall. 
A glint of moonlight striking through dark 
clouds illuminated the row of gardens. 
Hector crept along the wall with a burden 
on his shoulder, and, sliding down to the 
roof of a shed, dropped into the darkness of 
the lane that terminated the row of back 
gardens. Without pausing he took to his 
heels, passed the stables, and emerged into 



the silent street. Not a cat stirred. His 
bundle glimmered whitely on his shoulder. 

Hector had his route mentally planned 
with the minuteness of a brigade commander. 
He slipped along side -streets like a wraith, 
now and then on the brink of danger darting 
across the street into a doorway or alley, 
till at last, half an hour later, he plunged up 
a dark, dilapidated stair and knocked softly 
on a door at the top of the tenement. There 
was the rasp of a match, and the door swung 
back. 

" Hech, laddie I " muttered a voice, 
hoarsely, and the voice was the voice of 
Old NeiL " Man, laddie ! Hae ye come 
back already, then ? " 

Hector swung the pillow-case from his 
shoulder, and, with the air of a buccaneer, 
tipped from it a ham, sundry tinned tongues, 
a couple of loaves, tinned fruits of all descrip- 
tions — to say nothing of a quantity of butter, 
plus innumerable small paper packages he 
had hastily made up in the larder. 

' H I've brocht ye these, grand paw," chirped 
Hector, proudly looking at the pile of proven- 
der as St. George would glance down at a 
decapitated dragon. *' They're a present 
from her leddyship/' 

" A present ? " gasped Old NeiL " For 
me ? There's enough there to feed a man a 
fortnight. For me ? Jl 

"Ay." 




Ten minutes later he crawled 

out of the pantry window and 

reached the garden wall. 



by Google 



Oriqir 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



54 



A Peck of Trouble 



•' And what makes her send ye wi' them 
at this time o' night ? " 

" Oh, I was just passing, anyway," re- 
marked Hector, with nonchalance. 

Old Neil scratched his head dubiously. 

" Ye'd better bide here the nicht, then." 

*' Na, na," said Hector, backing towards 
the door. " It's time I was awa' back." 

" See here, ye birkie ! " cried Old Neil. 
" I hae ma suspicions that thae vittels are 
stolen property. If they are " — he eyed the 
strap that hung by the fireplace — " it's the 
wheeps for you, ma mannie. What richt, 
tell me, had you to bring thae things here ? " 

" Every richt," announced Hector, throw- 
ing out his chest. •' Am I no' the son o' the 
hoose ? Did her leddyship no' gie me the 
run o' the place ? I tell ye, she said, * Tak' 
what ye like, ma son ! * I'll bring ye a 
bundle like this every week, ye see. And " 
— he produced half a crown from his sporran 
and laid it on the table — " that's for your 
baccy. They've taken a fancy to me — 
they'll gie me what I ask. It's a grand 
arrangement ! " 

Old Neil stood speechless for a moment. 

" Ye thievin* young villain ! " he burst 
out at length. " Ye've gane to live wi' thae 
people to thieve food for me ! It's a thrashin' 
for you this nicht ! " 

Old Neil dived for the belt, but Hector's 
heels were thudding on the stairs. 

'• Guid nicht — I'll be back next week," 
floated up from the scurrying figure. Old 
Neil stood silent, a deep frown on his face. 
He closed the door carefully. The frown 
faded, changed to a wrinkled smile, and then, 
with a chuckle, Old Neil stooped and picked 
up a tin of peaches. 

MEANWHILE Hector was making skilful 
and speedy return. In due course he 
scrambled on the shed and so attained 
the coping stone of the garden wall. He was 
about to set out on his creeping journey on 
the wall towards the larder window when 
he was brought up with a jerk. The dark 
form of a man had just slithered down to 
the ground inside the yard and was making 
in silence for the gap in the box hedge. 

Hector watched, nonplussed. His nerve 
got as severe a shake as though a policeman 
had at that moment tapped him on the 
shoulder. He decided to discover as far as 
possible what was happening in the garden, 
and, crouching on the top of the wall, stole 
forward. 

It was a clear moonlight night ; and he 
came into full view of the house in time to 
see the man search for a moment in his 
pocket and unlock the back door. A gesture, 
the poise of the shoulders, he suddenly 
recognized. It was Rooke, the butler. 

" Dang him ! " grumbled Hector. 4< What 



richt has he to go oot at nights ? It'll be a 
lassie he's courtin' — but ane o' thae nichts 
it's me he might catch. We'll be carefu' 
after this." And he crawled along the wall 
and into the pantry window with the stealth 
of a perambulating cat. 

Past the butler's room and up the basement 
steps he fumbled, feeling his way in the dark* 
ness. The moonlight slanted down the main 
staircase, and Hector kept in the shadows 
close to the wall. On the first floor he 
paused, his heart in his throat. There was 
the sound of a muffled footstep. He looked 
round with a gasp, and was gripped by the 
collar of his jacket and almost swung off 
his feet. 

** So it's you, sonny ! " 

He screwed round to his captor. Rooke 
smiled down at him. 

" And wot's our little toddler doin' 'ere 
at this time of night, may I ask ? " Rooke 
released Hector's collar and gripped his ear. 

" Leggo, you brute ! " gurgled Hector, and 
lashed out sturdily at Rooke 's shins. 

Rooke squirmed and clasped an injured 
ankle. 

44 You young 'ound, I'll 'orsewhip you ! 
I'll tell the master and 'ave you kicked out 
of this 'ouse. You're a young guttersnipe, 
that's wot you are ! Kicked out, you'll 
be!" 

~ Mebby ay," said Hector, regaining con- 
fidence, " and mebby no. Before ye tell 
them aboot me, tell them aboot yersel'." 

" Wot d'yer mean ? " demanded Rooke, 
in a hoarse whisper. 

" Tell them what you were doing oot at 
this time o' nicht." 

'• Eh ? " gasped Rooke. " 'Ow do you 
know I was " 

'• Saw you," said Hector. " And I'll hae 
nae more sauce frae you, ma mannie. 
Anither word, an' I'll waken Sir George and 
tell him what I saw." 

,# You young " 

•• Master Hector frae you, please, my 
man ! " snapped Hector, regarding Rooke 
imperiously in the moonlight. The butler 
scowled. 

Hector cast about furiously in his mind 
for the phrase used by Sir George when 
dismissing Rooke from his presence, and 
with a swoop recalled it. 

•• That will do, thank you, Rooke ! " 
remarked Hector, in throaty tones, looking 
the butler in the eye. 

With a face of thunder Rooke turned and 
melted downstairs, while Hector mounted 
silently an3 sedately to bed. 

SUCCESS breeds success. By the time 
Hector was a month under Lady Babing- 
ton's rool tit was the monarch of all he 
surveyed,, Sir George Babington, his devoted 



Augustus Muir 



55 



servant, spent his mornings on a back lawn 
playing cricket with him, and their combined 
score soon was : three plate -gl ass windows, 
two cucumber frames, Apollo's plaster nose, 
and one duck's egg (this last being the size of 








" You young *ound, 1*11 \>r*ewhtp you I I* 

of th!» 



I tell the master and have you kicked out 

* it 
oiise. 



the lump they made on the head of the 
gardener next door). 

If Hector sneezed, a specialist was hustled 
from Hariey Street ; if his eye flashed in 
momentary wrath the house rocked about 
him. and the maids in the basement put 
their aprons over their heads. His slightest 
whim was a royal edict* The one subject of 
his realm who would not bow down before 
him was Rooke. Rooke stalked past with 
compressed lip and averted eye. Hector 
knew ; Rooke knew H The balance of uncom- 
fortable knowledge was delicate : it would 
not stand a jar. Then came the climax. 

It came in a strange way, and began with 
a strange happening, 

HECTOR was puzzled. He had carefully 
pulled off his pillow-case, as usual, at the 
hour of one a.m., and was about to start 
out on his duty-call to the groaning shelves of 
Lady Babington's pantry, when he found 
that he had been locked in his bedroom. 

It more than puzzled Hector. It worried 
him, 

*' I'll no' be beat/ 1 he said, screwing his 
forehead into furrows of shrewd deliberation. 
" I'll get to the bottom o* this locked door 
or ken the reason why." 



He slipped into the bathroom, and placed 
a chair on the top of the linen cupboard. 
Then be recalled with a jolt that Sir George 
and Lady Babington were out at a ball, and 
would not be back till 4.30 or thereabouts. 
Had Lady Babington suspected his exploits 
nnd made certain that he would not carry 
out another raid in her absence ? Or were 
there other strange things in the wind ? 
Hector climbed upon the chair, swung open 
the fanlight over the door, and determined 
to find out at once. 

The loose end of the rope operating the 
fanlight he threw into the passage, and slid 
down to the corridor carpet in silence* 

To achieve the journey downstairs without 
accident or noise was simple to Irim : he had 
done it in darkness too often not to know 
where lay the loose boards. But to-night 
there was an added stimulus towards caution, 
and Hector ventured step by step, ready 
every moment for the unexpected. 

4t Ah ! " 

He choked back a gasp and crouched into 
the wall. He had reached the first floor; 
and at the far end of the wide corridor there 
was the whitely gleaming outline of a large 
window. And fttjuiding out black against the 
f ain|l| if^E^Ef^^ff xnp^Yn^|Qp|q fisure of a man. 



56 



A Peck of Trouble 



He was close to Hector — barely ten yards 
away. The tick of the clock downstairs in 
the hall was the only sound through all that 
silent house. Hector held his breath, fearful 
lest he should give away his presence. 

The dark silhouette of the man turned from 
the window and approached on tip-toe, 
bending his body forward with each step in 
his effort to maintain the silence ; Hector 
saw that it was Rooke. 

The butler passed him three feet away 
like a ghost, and disappeared into the dark- 
ness of the corridor. Then there was a 
sudden slit of light, and Hector saw Sir 
George's study door open, and the figures of 
men inside. A light moved jerkily : it 
clearly came from an electric torch. 

What were they doing ? What was the 
scheme — at this hour ? 

Hector pondered. There seemed only one 
solution — burglars. 

Greatly daring, Hector tip-toed forward, 
anxious to see what exactly was afoot. It 
was his eagerness that brought his journey 
to an abrupt and terrifying stop. He 
accidentally nudged a small table, and a vase 
toppled to the floor with a crisply ringing 
smash of priceless china. 

Hector stepped back, shuddering in the 
darkness. The light in the room ahead 
went instantly out. There were muffled 
exclamations. And the voice of Rooke 
hissed : " Behind this chair with the tools 
— and into this room. It's probably a maid ; 
she won't look in here." 

» « 

THERE were shuffling noises, then silence. 
Hector stood still, trying to quieten the 
throbbing in his chest. Clearly, the men 
— how many there were he did not know — 
had slipped into the disused strong-room 
that led out of the study. In this dark 
retreat Sir George occasionally dabbled with 
photographic chemicals. The vision of the 
oak door that hid the steel sheet stood 
clearly in front of Hector's eyes. And with 
a rush came the memory that the key was 
kept on the outside of that door. 

It needed but a quick dash and the affair 
was over — the burglars trapped in a cage 
from which there was no escaping. They 
might, of course, be out in the study again 
before he got there — before he could turn 
the key. (It was so easy to slip back along 
the corridor and up to the safety of bed. . . .) 
He decided swiftly. Summoning his strength 
Hector tip-toed forward, entered the study, 
clicked on the lights, and plunged for the oak 
door that stood closed in the far corner. As 
he threw himself against it and gripped the 
key, there was a muffled cry within the 
strong-room, and a shoulder thudded on the 
steel door. The lock rasped home — in time, 
hut no more. Hector mopped a damp brow 



with his sleeve. Behind a chair was a little 
pile of strange tools. And there was a hole 
an inch deep in the lock of the safe beside 
Sir George's desk. Hector exhaled deeply. 
Then he descended to the hall, lifted the 
telephone receiver from the rest, and waited. 

In that swift moment of waiting, the whole 
of Hector's life swam before him. Rooke 
would be arrested as an accomplice of the 
burglars. Was it likely that Rooke would 
keep his mouth shut on his knowledge of 
Hector's midnight perambulations ? No ! 
And the strange weekly disappearance of 
certain foods from the larder would be fixed 
on him in an instant. And his life here 
would be ended. Ended. 

There was only one solution. That was 
to release the men upstairs. Should he hang 
up the receiver ? Hector's brain whirled. 

" Number, please ? " said the exchange. 

" Nearest police-station," gulped Hector. 

BY the time the police arrived at the house 
of Sir George and Lady Babington, a 
little figure was clambering down the 
back garden wall for the last time. On his 
back were two enormous fat bolsters stuffed to 
the top with choice viands from the larder. 

" What a night ! " said Sir George, shiver- 
ing slightly as he drank the coffee Lady 
Babington poured from -the percolator. 
" What a night ! " The morning-room clock 
struck four. " We'd just be leaving Beck- 
water's now, and the thieves would have got 
clean away, if the police hadn't been warned." 
. " What I want to know," said Lady 
Babington, handing her husband the sand- 
wiches, " is, who warned the police ? " 

" They said the voice sounded thin — like 
a woman's. One of the maids, probably." 

" But all the maids were asleep. They 
knew nothing about it till afterwards. I 
wonder they didn't waken little Hector with 
their fright and chattering." Lady Babing- 
ton looked appealingly at the baronet, who 
was reaching out for another sandwich. 
" Just run upstairs, George, and see if the 
little chap is all right." 

" If he's awake," Sir George called back, 
"I'll fish him down for some coffee and 
sandwiches." 

Sir George was weary ; he had had a 
tiring day and a nerve-twanging night ; he 
climbed the stairs laboriously. But he 
descended them like a landslide. 

" Gone ! " he gasped. " Clean gone, my 
dear ! And room door locked on the outside. 
He must have shinned out of the fanlight. 
Gone, I tell you ! " 

A -quiver, Lady Babington brushed past 
him ; she swept upstairs into Hector's 
bedroom like a tornado, and dissolved into 



Augustus Muir 



57 



" Keep calm, my dear/' soothed Sir George. 
" Come downstairs. We must ^et in touch 
with the police again at once. Don't under- 
stand it at all. Rooke, the scoundrel, said 
he had a statement to make later on about 
Hector, Wish I had got it before he was 
taken to the police-station/' 

4 * Rooke ? JJ sobbed Lady Babington t 
" What had Rooke to say about my 



Hector ? J 
-i Told 
perhaps." 



us why the youngster's gone, 



" But why ? " burst out Sir George* M In 
the name of goodness- — why ? fJ 

4i For Auld NeiL He's gettin' frail for 
fiddlin 1 and the streets — and — and so I 
pinched food for him at nights. I was going 
awa h for good an' all to-night — but I — I 
just had to come back and tell ye/' Hector 
moved sadly to the door, " Guid-bye p mem. 
Guid-bye, sir. It's been grand here — — " 

" Don't, don't go ! " cried Lady Babington. 
" Don't " 

*' Quiet , my dear/' interrupted Sir George, 
" Leave him to me. Hector, was it you 
who warned the police ? Answer me/* 

" Ay/' 

" You locked these burglars in the 




0h» my darling I" cried Lady Babington, rushing forward with outstretched arms, 



"But where — -where can he be ? Oh, do 
come down and 'phone the police now, 
George." 

AT the foot of the stairs Sir George stopped, 

A\ The morning -room door was open. 

He gripped his wife's arm and pointed. 

On the hearthrug stood a small, pale 
figure* It was Hector, At his feet were two 
fat bolsters. 

M Oh, my darling ! " cried Lady Babington, 
rushing forward with outstretched arms. 

If Na, na ! Stand back ! M said Hector, in 
a clear, calm voice. " Ye'll no' want to 
have me here any mair w : hen I tell ye 
the truth. See this ? J * He indicated the 
bulging bolsters. 

Her hands clasped in anxiety, Lady 
Babington dropped on the edge of a chair, 

*' I was thievin' these/ 1 continued Hector, 

' They're full o' meat and things frae your 

pantry." 



by LiOOgle 



strong-room all by yourself and 'phoned 
the police-station ? " 

" Ay/' 

Sir George leapt forward and seized 
Hector's hand. 

H * Then, by thunder, you deserve all the 
tinned tongue you've ever collared ! We'll 
send a barrowf id of tinned tongue round to old 
Whiskers in the morning, won't we, Eva ? ** 

M Truck loads of it ! " cried Lady Babing- 
ton, as she swooped down on the open- 
mouthed figure by the doorway. 

11 Ye- — ye mean I've to stay on ? " gapped 
Hector. " Me — who thieved your food at 
nights ? M 

" Of course, my darling ! Of course ! J> 
Lady Babington fondled him with flute-like 
maternal cooings. " What does the old food 
matter ? " 

" Then I'll hae a sandwich/' said Hector, 
reaching. "And gimme a drink of vour 
coffee, dad/' 1 " 71 

DIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



53 



4 



WAXWORKS 



♦ A MYSTERY ♦ 



HENRY BADGER 
rapidly paced the 
City churchyard ; 
his air of anxiety 
seemed to over weigh his 
small, though not unpleas- 
ing, features, He was an insignificant little 
man, dressed in pepper-and-salt tweeds. His 
hair was cut very close, except where a love- 
lock, plastered down with jasmine-oil, trailed 
over his forehead from under his hard black 
hat. Whenever he completed the circuit of 
the churchyard he peered towards the gate 
through which must come disturbance and 
romance. Henry Badger was in love, and 
he could not escape the consequences of his 
share in our common delight and affliction. 

Suddenly brightness overspread his sharp 
features- It w T as she ! She, in a pink 
crepe-de- Chine blouse, disconnected rather 
than connected with her white serge skirt by 
a patent-leather belt. Above the pink 
blouse was an equally pink neck, and a 
rather pretty face, all soft curves- She was 
bright blue of eye and tumbled in pleasant 
fairness about the hair, under a large straw 
hat from which drooped on one side a 
fragment of ivy that might with advantage 
have been placed elsewhere. But her name 
was Ivy, and she liked to live in harmony. 

" I'm late," she said, with pretty briskness, 
as they shook hands. M So sorry, Henry. 
Only the boss got dictating, and he likes to 
hear himself talk, even if it is only to little 
me. Still, better late than never/ 1 she 
added, with a smile indicating wit. 

Henry Badger replied M Yes/ 1 and won- 
dered if it would be good policy to attack 
her for being late. Since he felt at fault, no 
doubt it would. Only — an argument with Ivy, 
one never knew what that would lead to, 

''Well, you dummy," she said, "is that 
all you've got to say ? Got the tickets ? " 

M Er -," said Henry Badger, " no/' 

" What do you mean ?." said Ivy, crossly, 

" What I say/ 1 replied Henry Badger, with 
feeble determination. " Fact is, Ivy, I'm 
sorry, but I forgot/' 

The blue eyes stared at him, incredulous. 



T v 



*< 



WL. GEORGE 



"Forgot! What you been 
and done that for ? " 

Henry Badger explained 

profusely. The night 

ILLUSTRATED BY E. G. OAKDALE before he d had an awful 

headache, and it had 
slipped his memory to go round to the 
Imperial Music Hall, and this morning the 
manager 

Ivy trampled upon these confused excuses. 
" All I can see," she said, " is here we 
are landed on a Saturday afternoon with 
nowhere to go except the pictures. And 
it's so hot in those places. Last time I 
was fair melted, I do think it's too bad of 
you," 

It was then that Henry Badger expressed 
himself, " Fact is, Ivy, I been thinking/' 

" Hope you didn't break anything," said 
Ivy, " but since you done it, what's the 
ideer ? H 

" I been thinking that we don't know the 
town we live in. I was reading a book the 
other day* ' Strange Sights of London/ it 
was called. And, would you believe it, Ivy ? 
there's lots of things I got to learn/' 

"Ah, I do believe it/' said Ivy P 

11 For instance, 1 ' said Henry, " did you 
know that the church of St. Ethel burga 
wasn't burnt down in the Fire of London ? " 

" No," said Ivy, " and now I do know it 
I don't seem to be much better off/' 

" Ah ! " said Henry, " that's where you're 
wrong, Ivy. It improves your mind to 
know that sort of thing, And that's how I 
got my ideer. I been thinking we might go 
round to the docks." 

" What for ? " 

" Oh, I dunno. Just to mooch round. 
Ever been to the docks ? No ? Well, why 
not try 'em ? You know, Ivy, people spend 
a lot of money going to the Riviera, and they 
never see the place round the corner- See 
your own country first/ 1 he added, with 
originality. 

" Well," said Ivy, after a moment, " seeing 
you've mucked up this afternoon, and 
mother's gone out and there won't be any 



Copyright, , 9 «, by W. illtft^lTY '- 



iraw 



W. L. George 



59 



THE two little people, for neither of them 
was quite five -foot -si x h made their way 
along the East India Dock Road, where 
an omnibus had deposited them. For an hour 
they wandered the tragic land where none live 
for pleasure, and where slowly the soot falls 
to obliterate sooty footmarks. They were 
too tired to be pleased when, behind a long 
brick wall, they found the docks. They 
perceived the 
smell of the East, 
oil of macassar, 
piled logs of san- 
dal wood, barrels 
of copra ; at a 
point against the 
sky, where now 
the dark clouds 
were racing, they 
saw outlined tall 
spars, while a 
funnel striped in 
yellow and blue 
threw out a 
shower of sparks 
against the sky 
like a dun veil 
touched with 
tinsel. The heat 
seemed to grow. 

They lost their 
direction, not lik- 
ing to ask their 
way of the rough 
inhabitants, not 
knowing where 
they wanted to 
go. They were 
astray, unpro- 
tected lambs in 
a land of slender 
law* Ivy began 
to drag her feet 
as loudly as she 
could, to show 
that she was dis- 
pleased, Both 
were secretly op- 
pressed because 
that day they 
had not kissed. 

At that mo- 
ment came rain. 
Very slowly at 
first in separate 
warm drops that 
made upon the 
pavement spots 
as large as a coin. 
"Mvf tM said 
Henry, "it's 
going to come 
down like billy- 
oh i - 



" I don't care/* said Ivy. 
" Come on," said Henry, " let's see if we 
can get under shelter somewhere.'' But 
they were still progressing along another 
brick wall ; opposite, the warehouse? were 
closed. They ran h for now the rain was 
beginning to fall with greater determination. 
' Here/ 1 gasped Henry, as he ran, u we 
must get in somewhere; you'll be sopped 

through. Let s 
go into a shop." 
They stopped 
irresolutely at 
the corner of a 
side - street. As 
it w a s almost 
entirely occupied 
by warehouses no 
living creature 
could be seen, 
But just as they 
prepared to run 
on through the 
rain, Henry ob- 
served a tottering 
post, bearing a 
battered sign. 
The sign was in 
the shape of a 
hand pointing 
up the lane, and 
upon it were 
painted the 
words : " To the 
Waxworks/ 1 

"Here/ 1 he 
cried, dragging 
Ivy along, 
11 that'll do. I 
didn't know they 
had waxworks in 
this part of the 
world, but it'll 
save us getting 
wet," They ran 
up the street, 
expecting a ver- 
anda and a com- 
missionaire. At 
the end of the 
lane they had 
found nothing, 
and paused irre- 
solute, when u po n 
the door of a 
three-floored 
house Ivy saw 
the word M Wax- 
works/' with the 
addition: " Mrs. 
GrobVp Proprie- 
tress." Henry 
"Here we are/* said Ivy, "landed on a Saturday } seized the doer 
afternoon with nowhere to go except ihe picrUTt-Si**lLrllbAfldIe, which 




6o 



Waxworks 



resisted for a moment. The door jammed, 
but with a great effort he forced it open. It 
made a great clatter as he flung it against the 
wall. Breathless, and wiping their wet faces, 
the two stood giggling in the hall. Then, feel- 
ing alone, suddenly they kissed. The excite- 
ment of the run and of the caress sheltered 
them against an impression which the place 
imposed upon them only by degrees. They 
were in the hall of a house, of a house 
like any other house. There was no noise, 
except for a slight sound. It felt de- 
serted. The door handle on the right was 
covered with dust. Nobody had gone into 
that room for a long time. An unaccountable 
emotion developed in them. The house was 
still except that at last they identified the 
slight sound : far away a tap was leaking. 
They found themselves listening to the drip 
which came regularly from the basement. 

" Well," said Henry, with forced cheerful- 
ness, " here we are." And as if to reassure 
himself : " Anyhow, we sha'n't get wet." 

They stood for a moment looking out at 
the rain, which now came faster. The effect 
of this falling water, soft and hot, the dusty 
silence of the place except for that regular 
drip far away, combined to cast upon them 
a sort of uneasiness, an almost physical 
oppression. Ivy began to look about her 
with unexplainable anxiety. The darkness 
of the stairs, the banisters broken in several 
places, the dusty door handle, stirred in her a 
vague fear ; she looked about her like a cat in 
a strange place and preparing to flee. As the 
feeling communicated itself to Henry his man- 
liness revolted. It would be too silly to have 
the jumps. So he said : " Ive, since we're here, 
why not go upstairs and see the show ? " 

After a moment's hesitation, Ivy dominated 
her disturbance and said : " All right." 

THEY went up the stairs, firmly, but with 
instinctive slowness, troubled by the 
sound of their feet upon the boards, fol- 
lowed by the fainter drip of the distant tap. 
The first floor was like the ground floor. Here, 
too, the door handles were dusty, and here, 
too, there came no sound from beyond the 
doors. They had to make an effort to go up 
further. The sease that here was emptiness 
made emptiness frightful. But Henry was 
leading and still went up. He didn't know 
why, but knew he must go up. Perhaps 
because he was a man and couldn't run 
away from anything, not even from nothing. 
The second floor comforted them, for here 
was a pay-box, empty it is true, but marked : 
" Pay here." Henry released a great sigh. 
It really was a show. It had a human air. 

" Come on, Ivy," he said, in a loud voice 
which rang unpleasantly down the un- 
carpeted stairs. ' ' Since there 's nobody down 
here we can pay when we get to the top." 



Ivy silently followed him up, and so they 
reached what seemed to be a large attic. 
Once again a reluctant door yielded to their 
hands, and Henry stepped into the doorway 
with a sort of jauntiness, but Ivy paused for 
a moment at his back. Waxworks, yes, but, 
she didn't know why, at once she was 
terrified. One couldn't see very well in the 
attic, for the dust of years lay upon the 
skylight, and the avaricious light of the 
sullen sky hardly penetrated. The walls had 
been whitewashed, but now were stained 
black with damp, soiled by the touch of 
hands, the smoke of lamps. About the 
door hung rags of dirty red damask. And 
in the immense silence of the place, hearing 
not even the drip of the distant tap, they 
found themselves alone with the wax 
figures. 

Some stood upon little thrones of red- 
painted wood, here a man in day clothes, 
staring emptily from a yellow countenance, 
here a woman spreading crimson nostrils 
to an absent scent. The two were still 
in the doorway, not knowing why they did 
not go in. They were conscious of a secret 
vileness in these faces. The things stood so 
still, but sure of themselves, as, if they had 
always stood in the dust and twilight. But 
at last Henry seized Ivy's arm more firmly 
and they went in. 

Altogether there were fourteen figures. 
Three of the men were labelled Charles 
Peafce, Dr. Crippen, and Gouff6. The woman 
with the intense gaze was Mrs. Maybrick, 
and there were two other women, one with 
bright red hair over which a spider had built 
its web. But Henry and Ivy, as they stood 
before them, did not at once read the legends 
telling how Crippen had killed his wife and 
burnt her body in the furnace, nor did they 
gaze at Gouff6, the bailiff, who had been 
carved into pieces and packed in a trunk. A 
little later Ivy read that ticket to the end and 
shudderingly stepped away from the invita- 
tion to draw apart the figure's clothing and 
see indicated the lines along which the body 
had been cut up. At that moment she was 
cowering against Henry, who instinctively 
had laid an arm about her shoulders, for the 
single figures were less terrifying than two 
groups represented in action. One of the 
groups comprised a man and a woman in a 
pink flannelette dressing-gown. With an 
expression of pinched determination the 
murderer was forcing the female figure down 
into a bath, where a sheet of mica, tinted 
green, represented water. In the grasp of a 
bony hand, the female figure held the edge 
of the bath, wildly raising the other arm, 
while into her distorted mouth floated the 
green edge of the water that was to drown her. 
It was a woik of art nf indescribable horror. 
It W84S els if the snake-like finders moved, as 



W. L. George 



61 



if in another moment the head would dis 
appear under that still green surface. 

With an exclamation Henry turned 
aside to the other group, that stood 




He caught her just as she was going to th 
herself down the stairs. 

dim within the shadow, away from the faint 
rays that fell through the skylight. This 
represented a very old woman, lying on her 
face, her white hair scattered and stained 
with blood, w T hile kneeling over her, a sand- 
bag still half-raised, was a short man in the 



clothes of the day, his face set 
and coated with a horrible scarlet 
flush- 
Now a new sound made them start 
It was the growing rain, pattering upon 
the skylight, as if goblins raced across it/ 
In a sudden desire for union again they 
kissed, quickly falling apart, as if espied. 
They turned away for a moment, fas* 
c mated, they did not know how, in this 

k r a) lery nf crime ; the still things al it 

them seemed to have a motion, a vibra- 
tion of their own, They found them- 
selves looking sharply into corners as if 
something were there after all, as if 
these were not creatures of wax, but 
actually poisoners, men and women ex- 
perienced in violence and still capable 
of evil. The great horror, which always 
drew them back to itself, was that bath, 
soiled, chipped, and streaked with black 
rivulets of dirt, into which the murderer 
was endlessly pressing dow T n the figure 
that endlessly strove for life. 

So great was the tension that Henry 
tried to rejoin the ordinary world. He 
whispered : " We ought to have paid 
someone," but while he spoke he looked 
row from side to side, as if begging some 
material custodian to appear with a 
familiar ticket and a sounding punch. 
Ivy did not reply ; she was holding his arm 
in a nervous clutch ; once or twice she 
moved away from him^ and then came back, 
as if her fingers grasped him independently 
of the processes of hsr brain. She was open- 
ing atifj|<lffij$|£ \h^ijk)^|Q^i;]itHivine: to speak 



62 



Waxworks 



and finding her tongue dry. Only at last did 
she find a whisper: M I don't like it. Let's go." 
Henry Badger also wanted to go, but he 
was so unaccountably afraid that he dared 
not go. His virility spoke : it told him that 
if he went now he would be everlastingly 
ashamed. He was afraid to tell himself 
that he was afraid. So, in a voice the 
loudness of which half-startled him, he 
replied : " Oh, rot ! Since we've come up 
we may as well see the lot of them." So, 
Ivy still grasping his arm, they circled the 
attic, stopping in turn before each figure. 
Ivy did not want to see, but she could not 
look away. It was as if she must meet 
material, human eyes. It was always the 
eyes she looked at. There was a challenge 
in them. It was the defiance of the dead 
which she must meet. She must again view 
the bath, look down through the green 
surface of the water upon the agonized limbs 
which twisted in the dimness that was to be 
their grave. But now there was a change. 
Perhaps because habit made that first seem 
less awful, the second group gained in horror. 
It was not only the sight of the blood coagu- 
lated on the white hair, it was something 
else, something unnamable. The art of the 
sculptor had gone too far ; here was mere 
and abominable reality. Real hair, and 
crouching above, with drooping eyelids, the 
figure of the murderer, ill-shaven ancj flushed 
with health. Something twisted in Ivy's 
body as she thought that upon the still mask 
she could discern beads of sweat. They 
stayed staring, half-conscious that they had 
been here a long time, though little more 
than a minute had passed. The beating of 
their hearts deafened them, and combined 
with the hissing sound of the rain, as if thin 
ghosts shod in cloud were racing across the 
skylight. Her eyes still fixed upon the 
creature with the sandbag, Ivy whispered 
again : " Let's go." 

THEN, in the far distance, they heard the 
front door slam. 

At that sound a confused terror seized 
them both. The contrast between incoming 
humanity and the unearthly silence here 
affected them like a blow. Heat and weak- 
ness rushed up their limbs, and in Ivy's ears 
was a sound like the distant unwinding of an 
endless chain. Henry was the first to 
recover ; a compound emotion formed in 
him : the proprietress — of course — he wanted 
to get out — they really ought to pay — he'd 
better see. This summarized itself in an 
inarticulate sound. Turning, he ran to the 
landing and looked down the stairs. He did 
not know what he expected to see, but 
something, and after a few seconds, as he 
heard nothing, such a weakness overcame him 
that he let himself go against the 'balustrade, 



his head hanging down over the well of the 
stairs, where all was silence and darkness. 

But almost at once he recovered, for 
suddenly behind him there came a long cry, 
a cry with a strange, torn quality, like that 
of a beast in pain, that jerked him to his 
feet as it dragged from his pores a sheet of 
cold sweat. As he turned, Ivy came 
tumbling out of the attic, her arms out- 
stretched before her as if she fumbled for 
her way. She could not see, for her eyes 
were so retroverted that only the whites 
showed "under the falling lids. He caught 
her just as she was going to throw herself 
down the stairs. As he touched her she 
flung her arms about his neck with maniacal 
strength and he could not free himself from 
that grasp. As they stumbled together 
down the stairs, he thought that it was like 
being held by bones. They fell together at 
the foot of the second landing, somehow 
struggled to their feet. There was a moment 
of incredible effort before they could pull 
open the outer door, which had been closed 
by the wind. They halted for an instant 
upon the steps, close-locked under the 
falling hot rain, and Henry did not under- 
stand what drove him then, what strange 
relief or exaltation, what insane excitement 
made him press his mouth to the lips drawn 
tightly into pallid lines. At the kiss Ivy's 
nerves suddenly relaxed. She became a 
bundle in his arms, something he dragged 
along, staggering as he fled, he knew not 
from what. They shared but one idea : to 
get away. The pavement streamed before 
them as they ran with downcast eyes. Then, 
with, a shock, they were stopped by two 
policemen in oilskins, with whom they 
nearly collided at the junction of the lane 
and the main road. The policemen stared 
at these two, instinctively holding them by 
the arm, not understanding that they were 
at the limit of terror, and already suspecting 
that they had committed some crime. 
Indeed, Henry and Ivy were struggling in 
their grasp, still dominated by their one 
desire : to get away. At last, when they 
grew quiet and stood breathing hard, their 
mouths relaxed by nervous exhaustion, the 
elder policeman, who was a sergeant, said : 
" Now then, what's all this ? " 

" I don't know," said Henry. 

" Come on," said the sergeant, " you 
don't put me off like that. What you been 
up to, you two ? " Henry did not reply. 
" Mark you, it'll be all the worse for you if 
you don't talk. What's happened ? " He 
shook his prisoner, suggesting that he'd make 
him talk yet, but failing to draw a reply he 
turned to the girl : " You, why were you 
running ? " 

Ivy seemetiintobfrmve recovered more 
quiclJy than ber companion, Though her 



W. L. George 



63 




You silly kid,' 1 said the policeman, " that* a only wax- And so's this wax/' he added, 



, as he laid his hand upon the blood-stained white hair. 



Ti- 



hen 



hfc tumped up and recoiled, 



his staring eyes glaring WN€frW4* OF MICHIGAN 



6 4 



Waxworks 



eyelids did not cease to twitch, she managed 
to say : "I saw something." 

" Saw something ? " said the sergeant. 
" Saw what ? " 

" Oh, I couldn't," said Ivy. 

" Iexpect they're drunk, "said the constable. 

" No," said the sergeant, meditatively, 
" I can't smell it on 'em." 

" Oh, no," cried Ivy, " no, of course not, 
only it's the waxworks — the waxworks." 

" Waxworks ? " said the sergeant. " What 
waxworks ? " 

" I know, sergeant," said the constable, 
nodding up the lane. " Mrs. Groby's place." 

" Oh, yes," said the sergeant, " I know now. 
Sort of chamber of 'orrors. Well, you been to 
the waxworks. What about it ? " 

" I saw something," whispered Ivy. 

" Saw what ? " said the constable. " Saw 
Mrs. Groby, I suppose. Funny old dame, ser- 
geant. She's been living in that house all by 
herself for the last forty years, alone with them 
things. Used to make a lot of money out of 
them, and they say she's got a lot saved up. 
Between you and me and the lamp-post I'm 
surprised no one's knocked her on the head 
yet and walked off with her money." 

Ivy gave a low cry : " Yes — that's it — 
there's a man in there — he's killed her — 
blood all over her head." 

" What's all this ? " asked the sergeant, 
professionally incredulous. " What's all this 
story ? And how do you know anything 
about it ? " 

"There was a noise," said Ivy. "The 
door slammed — Henry ran out. I couldn't 
move for a moment — she was on the floor, 

and the man '* Her voice became .shrill : 

" as I turned to look after Henry I just — he 
raised his arm and rubbed it — just with the 

corner of my eye — I " She gave a 

heavy sigh, and her head fell back upon the 
policeman's chest. 

But she had not fainted, and in a moment 
the policemen were striding up the lane, 
followed by Henry and Ivy, who clung to 
the companionship of these tall, loud-speaking 
men. As they went the sergeant theorized : — 

" I see the dodge. He did the old woman 
in ; then he heard this pair come up the 
stairs, and rigged himself up as a wax 
figure. Got cramp, I suppose, and took the 
chance to rub his arm when he thought she 
wasn't looking. Cheer up, missy," he added 
to Ivy, who was crying out of weakness. 
" We'll soon get him." As they reached the 
door of the museum he winked at her and 
drew his truncheon. " Better stay down- 
stairs, missy," he added, as he led the way 
up. But after a moment Ivy and Henry 
could not bear their loneliness, and tip-toed 
up the stairs behind the blue shapes that 
walked with such assurance, making no 
attempt to muffle their tread. When they 



reached the attic, the policeman looked in a 
puzzled way into the twilight. 

" Which one is it ? " said the policeman, 
and instinctively his voice fell to a whisper. 
Ivy, who was just behind him, pointed at 
the kneeling shape carrying the sand-bag. 

" That one," she said. The sergeant did 
not understand his own feeling, but he 
received some dim impression from the grey 
place. He walked only three feet into the 
room. Then, in an uneasy voice, he addressed 
the kneeling figure : " Now then, my man. 
The game's up. You better go quietly." 

There was no reply, and the echoes died 
away, repeating a quivering uncertainty in 
the policeman's voice. 

A FTER a moment's pause the sergeant, 
^f-\ irritated by the silence, strode into the 
room; raising his truncheon, he went 
up to the kneeling figure and touched it on 
the shoulder. He drew back his hand, 
touched the body again. Then, suddenly, 
he burst into a roar of laughter, as with a 
derisive gesture he passed his hand up and 
down over the waxen face. 

" Wax ! " he cried. " Bert ! have you 
ever seen such a pair of gabies as these two ? 
Been here and got the 'orrors, the two of 
them, and ran out like a pair of loonies to 
tell us this dummy is Jack the Ripper posing 
for the Russian bally. Oh, my ! " 

"Wax ! " whispered Ivy, "oh, no. Oh, please 
don't touch it. It's not wax. No, it's not." 

" Come on," said the sergeant, kindly, 
" touch it yourself." j 

" Oh, I couldn't," said Ivy, quivering, 
but with a laugh the policeman seized her 
wrist, and, drawing her towards the figure, 
forced her to lay her hand upon the waxen 
coldness of the cheek. 

" Wax," said the policeman, " you silly 
kid. That's only wax. And so's this wax," 
he added, as he bent down and negligently 
laid his hand upon the blood-stained white 
hair. But, in the same movement almost, 
the policeman jumped up and recoiled, his 
staring eyes glaring at his hand. For less 
than a second did he gaze at it ; then, with 
a cry, as if seized by ungovernable hysteria, 
he brought down his truncheon upon the 
head of the kneeling man, which, under the 
blow, scattered into tiny fragments of tinted 
wax. Then the other policeman drew back 
as he saw his comrade's hand stained with 
fresh blood. 

" A waxwork," he gasped. " What — 
how ? It isn't a waxwork. It's Mrs. Groby." 
He laid a single finger on the woman's head, 
stared at his own blood-stained hand. 
" Dead — still warm." His voice rose high : 
" Killed— by what ? " 

In the silence, far below, could be heard 




v > • " Aquatic Golf 



®y 



W. HEATH 
ROBINSON 





VoL bfo- 5. 



66 



Aquatic Golf 






BUNKERED 









MT A.! H 



W. Heath Robinson 



67 




GS 



Aquatic Golf 




"VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



69 



THE SINISTER QUE ST 
OF NORMAN GREY ES 



4 



E PHILLIPS 
OPPENHEIM 



CtfARLES CRQMBIE 



No. 8 -THE UNFAMILIAR TRIANGLE. 



T 



By JANET. 

HIS, as near as I can remember, is 
a copy of the letter I received that 
wonderful third day of March : — 



137, Gtoftfen Square, 

'^-London, W.C. 
Dear Madam, 

We beg to inform you that, under the 
will of the late William Soale t gardener, of 
May ford, Surrey, you are entitled to a legacy 
of £250, fyee of duty. 

As the estate is so small, and the assets are 
chiefly in War Loan, we are in a position to 
pay you that sum at once, if you will favour 
us with a call, or your instructions. 
Faithfully, 

Haskell & Hames, 

No one could possibly realize what that 
money meant for me. I had been working 
for months at a small dressmaker's in 
Kensington, earning barely enough to keep 
myself, slinking to work in the morning and 
slinking home at night, terrified alike of 
Michael, the man whom I had once loved, 
and of Norman Greyes, the man who, without 
the slightest effort on his part, had attained 
such a strange and commanding influence 
over my thoughts and life. And now for a 
time, at least, I was free. With two hundred 
and fifty pounds, I could escape from London 
and hide. None of the obvious places 
appealed to me in any way + After a great 
deal of consideration, I took a first -class 
passage to Marseilles, in the name of Janet 
Soale, on the slowest P* & O. boat I could find. 

I spent a moderate sum in replenishing my 
wardrobe, sewed a hundred -pound note into 
my bodice, and started on my adventure. 
The first few days were wonderful. I found 

Copyright, 1922, by E, 



all that I craved for in my new surroundings 
—freedom from the sordid necessities of 
daily work, and an indescribable sense of 
exhilaration, born of the huge spaces, the 
roaring wind, and the sting of the spray. As 
soon as the sun began to shine through the 
grey clouds of the English Channel I felt 
something stirring in my heart — a sort of 
passionate content which crept through my 
whole being as the skies grew clearer through 
the Bay of Biscay and the sun went down in 
a clear glory of amber and gold. There was 
so much that was beautiful in life of which I 
knew nothing — and 1 was so anxious to learn. 

I HAD made no effort to secure any special 
place in the dining saloon. Consequently, 

the seat apportioned to me was in a sorae^ 
what Temote corner, and my companions of 
that negative type who seem born to prom- 
enadethe decks of steamers, point out perfectly 
obvious porpoises and passing ships to their 
fellow-passengers, and apparently disappear 
at the end of the voyage from the face of the 
earth. It was what suited me best. Day by 
day I breathed in an atmosphere of repose. 
Then the natural thing happened. My 
interest in life began to revive. I was young 
and strong. The sunshine, the salt air, the 
complete change did their work. I made 
some slight change in my toilette one night, 
and arranged my hair differently. Half-a- 
dozen people made an excuse to come and 
talk to me that night on deck, I had as 
many offers of an escort to view the sights 
when we landed at Gibraltar on the following 
day- Men, however, made no appeal to me. 
1 preferred to join i\ small party, mostly 
composed of people who sat at my table, 

We wandered about the place in the usual 
disjointed fashion, striving to assume the 
tourist's intelligent interest in the jumble of 

Fhui^iRi^^TY OF MICHIGAN 



7° The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



Spanish remains, modern fortifications, bur- 
nous-clad Moors, and preternaturally withered 
Spaniards. We gaped in the shop-windows 
and bought the usual variety of useless 
articles. It w r as here for the first time that 
I felt a momentary impulse of sadness. 
Picture postcards were of no use to me. 
There was not a soul in the world who was 
interested in my comings or goings. With 
me acquaintance seemed to spell tragedy. 

Finally, we wandered into the hotel for 
tea, .served in a lounge which one of my 
travelled companions described as the very 
Mecca of spurious Orientalism. The room 
had a glass roof but no windows. It was 
adorned with artificial flowers rearing their 
heads from brass pots, marble-topped tables, 
and plush furniture. None of these things 
impressed me at the time, for a very adequate 
reason. I was steeped in amazement at 
something I saw in the face of the woman 
who had been its solitary occupant before 
our coming. She was moderately young, 
quietly but expensively dressed, of small 
but graceful figure, and with large dark eyes. 
It was none of these personal characteristics, 
however, which compelled and riveted my 
attention. It was the fact that from her 
corner in the darkened room she was glaring 
at me with an expression of intent and 
deliberate malignity. To the best of my 
belief I had never seen her before, yet it was 
a clear and unmistakable fact that in this 
hotel room at Gibraltar I had suddenly come 
into contact with a woman who hated me. 

WE somehow or other found places at a 
table. My immediate neighbour was 
an elderly American gentleman who 
had once or twice spoken to me on the 
voyage, but who seemed to spend most of 
his time seeking for ex-business associates. 
He had. he told me, been a manufacturer of 
boots and shoes in a place called Lynn. His 
name was Frank Popple. 

" Say, are you acquainted with the lady 
in the corner ? " he asked, curiously. 

I shook my head. 

" I have never seen her before," I assured 
him. 

" Is that so ? " he replied, incredulously. 
" I guess she isn't partial to strangers, then. 
Didn't you notice her looking kind of fierce ? " 

" I thought that she had probably mis- 
taken me for someone else," I said. 

Mr. Pdpple appeared to find the surmise 
possible. 

" Fiery-tempered lot, these foreigners," he 
remarked. 

I received a further shock about an hour 
later, when I found the same woman en- 
sconced in a corner of the tender which was 
■" back to the steamer, surrounded 
h-belabelled steamer-trunks, a 



dressing-case, hat-box, and other feminine 
impedimenta. She scowled at me sullenly 
when we came on board, and, acting entirely 
on impulse, I walked straight across to her. 

" Have I offended you in any way ? " I 
inquired. " It seems to me that we are 
strangers." 

She looked at me steadfastly. Her face, 
which normally must have been soft and 
pretty, had become hard and cold. Her eyes 
still told their tale of hatred. 

" You are Janet Stan field, are you not ? " 
she asked. 

"That is certainly my name," I admitted, 
more puzzled than ever. " How do you 
know it ? " 

She looked at me in doubting silence. The 
sun was pouring down upon us. The strange, 
foreign odour of the place, pungent but 
fascinating to me in its novelty, was in my 
nostrils. On the quay, a ruffianly-looking 
Spaniard, with olive cheeks, jet-black hair, 
and flashing eyes, was singing a sweet but 
sensuous melody. In the background, one 
heard from across the harbour the sad chant 
of the Lascars as they bent over their toil 
on the deck of an out-going steamer. All 
these things became mingled with my im- 
pressions of the moment. 

" I have seen your picture," she said, 
gloomily. 

" Where ? " 

" In New York. He carried it with him." 
She turned deliberately away, as though 
determined not to enter into any further 
conversation. I found her unsociability to 
some extent a relief, but when I stepped on 
board again my blessed peace of mind was 
gone. I relapsed into my former frame of 
mind and endeavoured to keep away from 
everyone. Mr. Popple, however, refused to 
accept my plain hints. He dragged his chair 
over to my corner on deck. 

" Mrs. Louisa K. Martin, that lady's name," 
he informed me, " comes from way out West, 
beyond Milwaukee. She is getting out at 
Marseilles." 

" I had forgotten all about her," I replied, 
mendaciously. 

Mr. Popple scratched his chin thought- 
fully. He was a large man, clean-shaven, 
with a ponderous jaw but kindly eyes, with 
little creases at the side. He seemed a little 
hurt at my lack of confidence. 

" I'd give her a wide berth if I were you," 
he advised. " Travelling about as much as 
I do, I've got kind of used to taking stock of 
people's expressions, and the way she looked 
at you was real mean." 

I declined to continue the conversation 
and announced my intention of going to bed. 
As I entered the music-room on the way to 
mv cabin, there was a curious cessation of 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



7* 



was seated in an easy-chair, very becomingly 
dressed in black, with a long rope of pearls 
around her neck, looked at me with steady 
insolence. I walked straight up to her 
chair. I knew that she had been saying 
things about me and I was furious. 

" Are you meeting my husband at Mar- 
seilles, Mrs. Martin ? " I asked her. 

I was sorry for the question directly the 
words had left my lips — sorry for her, too, 
in a way. She turned deathly pale, and if 
looks could have killed I should have been a 
dead woman. She made no answer at all. 
I waited for a moment and then passed on to 
my state-room. 

IT must have been about ten o'clock that 
night when I heard a soft tapping at my 
door. I guessed at once who it was, and 
I guessed rightly. It was Mrs. Louisa Martin, 
wrapped in a dressing-gown and with slippers 
on her feet. She closed the door carefully 
and she put her fingers to her lips 

" We must be careful," she whispered. 
" You were mad to speak of Michael openly." 

" Of my husband ? " 

She laughed contemptuously. 

" He married me years before you," she 
replied, " and another before either of us." 

I turned away from her that she should 
not see the hate in my face. Some con- 
viction of this sort had been growing upon 
me of late. 

" When two women love the same man," 
Louisa Martin continued, " they should 
forget everything when he is in danger. I 
don't see love in your face," she went on. 
" Then why are you here ? " 

" I see no reason why I should discuss 
that or any other subject with you," I 
answered, " but as a matter of fact I had no 
idea that Michael was in Marseilles." 

I thought that she would have struck me. 
The fire of unbelief blazed in her eyes. 

" What are you doing on this steamer, 
then ? " she demanded. 

" I came for a holiday trip," I told her. 

She leaned a little towards me. In the 
unshaded light of the cabin her face seemed 
wan, almost aged. 

II Listen ! " she said. " This is a matter 
of life or death for Michael. You heard 
through someone of his being in Marseilles. 
Tell me through whom ? " 

" I swear that I had no idea he was there," 
I repeated. 

" You fool ! " she exclaimed. " Can't you 
see that you are probably followed — that the 
police are making use of you ? " 

" You are in the same position yourself," 
I reminded her. 

" Indeed I am not," she assured me, 
earnestly. " I was born in Marseilles. I 
have travelled there repeatedly. I know 



every corner and stone of the place. It was 
I who taught Michael that it was the finest 
hiding-place in the world for the educated 
criminal. It was I who took him where he 
is now." 

Our conversation was suddenly interrupted 
in a very unexpected fashion. My stewardess 
entered, with a thin blue strip in her hand. 

" Wireless for you, Mrs. Soale," she 
announced, addressing me by the name 
under which I had booked my passage. 

" For me ? " I repeated, incredulously. 
" There must be some mistake. Nobody 
knows that I am on board." 

"It's Mrs. Soale, right enough," the 
stewardess assured me. " There's no one 
else of that name amongst the passengers." 

I tore open the envelope. My companion 
watched me with glittering eyes. She could 
scarcely wait until the stewardess had de- 
parted. 

" You liar ! " she hissed. " You see what 
you have done I You have laid a trail for 
the police to follow from London to Mar- 
seilles." 

She poured out abuse. I heard nothing. 
My whole attention was fixed upon those few 
words, staring at me from the telegraph 
form : — 

Dombey 315* March Genesis Louise 

I felt her fingers suddenly grip my arm. 
She read the message over my shoulder. 

" Get the code," she whispered, hoarsely. 
- Quick ! " 

" What code ? " I demanded. " I don't 
know what you're talking about." 

I suppose she must have been convinced 
at last, for she dropped my wrist and hurried 
to the door. 

" Wait here," she ordered, snatching the 
message from my hand. 

There was a heavy swell that day, and I 
was glad to sit down upon my bunk. She 
returned in a very few moments. Her 
cheeks were flushed. She handed me back 
the message. Underneath it she had pen- 
cilled the interpretation : — 

Danger 97 it must be dealt with promptly 
Louisa. 

I looked at it and shook my head. 

" I suppose I am a fool," I admitted, " but 
I can't understand a word." 

" You are a fool," she agreed. " No 
wonder Michael never trusted you with a 
code ! It means that someone dangerous 
must be travelling in state-room ninety-seven, 
who must be dealt with promptly by me — 
Louisa — my name. Do you understand 

" But how Oiaal Michael know that I was 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



72 



The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 




on the steamer, and 
■why should he have 
sent this message to 
me instead of to you ? " 
I demanded, 

" The Chief of Police 
at Marseilles has a copy 
of every passenger list 
of steamers 1 ea ving 
London and calling at 
Marseilles, forwarded 
overland/' she replied, 
" Michael has a friend in the Bureau. It 
is possible that I am being watched. He 
knew quite well that I should find you out, 
and that I should be of more use than you 



14 You liar ! " she hissed* * You 

see what you have done I You 
have laid a trail for the police to 
follow from London to Marseilles," 



were likely to be* Now to discover who 
is travelling in state-room number ninety- 
seven." 

She|^le^^^ m ^ K ^^ was passing 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 

outside. He unhooked the door and looked 



73 



in. 

" Steward, can you tell me the name of 
the gentleman in number ninety-seven ? " 
she inquired. 

He shook his head. 

" That's the other side of the ship, madam." 

She held out a Treasury note. 

" Please find out," she begged. 

He was back again in less than a min te. * 

" Mr. Popple, madam — an American gentle- 
man," he announced. 

Even as he spoke, we heard a familiar and 
resonant voice outside. . _ 

" I put his plant down at a hundred and^ 
fifty thousand dollars, and I cleaned. <up tKe 
deal. Some push down our way, sir ! " 

Mr. Popple passed on. The woman whose 
name was Louisa stood looking at me. 

" From the first I suspected him," she 
whispered. " He must be Bill Lund, from 
Chicago. This commercial traveller business 
is his stunt." 

" What are you going to do ? " I asked. 

She smiled in a peculiar fashion. 

" Obey Michael," she answered softly. 

THE next morning, Mr. Popple came over 
and talked to me again. He had shown 
me from the first a considerable amount 
of attention, but his conversation had always 
been of the most ordinary kind. This 
morning, however, in the midst of a discussion 
on ladies' footwear, he broke off and ad- 
dressed me in different fashion. 

" So you're making friends with the 
woman who looked as though she wanted to 
bite your head off at Gibraltar," he remarked* 

" I shouldn't have said so," I replied, 
cautiously. 

" She was in your state-room last night, 
wasn't she ? " he queried. 

- * For a moment or two," I admitted. 
" Why not ? " 

He watched the smoke from his cigar 
thoughtfully. 

" I guess you've common sense enough to 
take a word of advice," he said. " Here it 
is. Keep out of it." 

" Keep out of what ? " I demanded. 

He shrugged his shoulders. 

" That's a fine shoal of porpoises," he 
observed, looking over the side of the ship. 
" I don't know as I've ever seen a finer in 
these waters." 

**• In other words," I ventured, smiling 

" Incident closed," he declared. " Maybe 
I've opened my mouth too wide as it is." 

But as a matter of fact he had not. The 
last few days had seen a wonderful change 
in me. I scarcely knew myself, scarcely 
realized the new thoughts with which. I 
lived, the slow falling away of the spurious 
fancies which life with Michael had fostered. 



These few days, freed from the constant 
environment of the city, with its sordid tasks 
and obligations, solitude in the great spaces, 
with the sea and the wind and the stars, had 
been like a tonic to my soul. , In plain words, 
my association with Michael had become 
loathsome to me. I was filled with a pas- 
sionate desire to start life again as an honest 
woman. 

So, although I knew now for certain that 
Mr. Popple was a detective, I said no word 
of this to Louisa, even though, during the 
next few hours, I jjitnessed an amazing 
development of their acquaintance. They 
gat together for several hours, and Louisa's 
beautiful eyes seemed every moment to 
become more eloquent. Without a doubt, 
she had made up her mind to captivate him, 
and to all appearance she was succeeding. 
I was walking up and down the deck with the 
doctor, and we heard scraps of their conver- 
sation as we passed — an assignation for the 
morrow evening at Marseilles, proposed 
boldly enough by Mr. Popple, and assented 
to by a timorous but eloquent flash of the 
eyes by Louisa. After dinner they took 
their coffee out on deck. Their heads were 
even closer together, their voices dropped. 
People, as they passed, began to smile. It 
was obvious that an affair was in progress. 
I 'was surprised, therefore ^ to hear Mr. 
Popple suddenly address the doctor, who had 
joined me again for a, few minutes. 

" Just one moment, Doc." 

We stopped at once. Mr. Popple seemed 
to rise with difficulty to his feet. 

*' Guess I am sick, Doc. Just step round 
to my state-room with me for a moment." 

Mr. Popple, suddenly very pale, swayed 
on his feet and clutched at the doctor's arm. 
I expected every moment to see him collapse. 
We all turned to Louisa. She shook htr 
head, apparently as bewildered as the rest 
Of us. 

44 We had just finished our coffee," she 
explained, " when Mr, Popple, who had been 
talking a great deal, became silent. He 
spoke of a pain in his head and I thought he 
seemed queer. Then he called out to the 
doctor. That is all I know about it." 

By degrees the others melted away. I 
sank into Mr. Popple's vacant chair. As 
soon as we were alone, Mrs. Louisa Martin 
looked at me covertly. There was a flash of 
triumph in her half -closed eyes. 

11 So ! " she murmured. " I do not think 
that Mr. Popple will follow me about Mar- 
seilles." 

" Do you mean that you have poisoned 
him ? " I gasped. 

She looked at me with a queer little 
smiie. 

14 Some" she said, " prefer, to shoot. I 
choose the way of safety." 



74 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



Then I knew that Michael had told her 
everything. In that moment, all that I 
had ever felt of love for him turned to 
hate. 

WE entered the harbour at Marseilles 
late on the following morning, and 
drifted down on our way to the 
dock. The sun was shining, and the heat, 
now that we had left the breezes of the 
open sea, was almost unbearable. It was a 
morning of acute sensations. I remember 
everything — the pungent odours of the 
harbour, the smell (3 fresh tar, of a 
cargo of dried onions, a passing whiff of 
fragrance from the baskets of the flower 
women on the quay. We stood leaning 
over the side, waiting, prepared to land, but 
waiting for the gendarmes at the further 
end of the gangway to give the word. Sud- 
denly I felt a little thrill pass through my 
whole body. Notwithstanding the hot sun- 
shine, I was so cold that I felt myself shiver- 
ing. Leaning with his back to one of the 
wooden pillars was a man with a tanned, 
almost swarthy skin, lean-faced, with a 
hungry, wolf-like droop of his thin lips. He 
was shabbily dressed even for a labourer, 
with brown overall, ragged blue trousers, 
boots devoid of laces, and a soiled tweed cap. 
It was more than a disguise — it was a meta- 
morphosis — yet I knew Michael, and although 
he never glanced agaiu in my direction, I 
knew that he had recognized me. I did then 
what was, in the circumstances, a foolish 
action. I made my way to where Louisa 
was standing and I touched her on the arm. 

" Look there," I said, directing her 
attention cautiously towards the lounging 
figure. 

She looked at him for a moment without 
interest. Then suddenly the change came 
into her face. Hex lips were a little parted, 
the colour was drained from her cheeks, her 
eyes were filled with the anticipation of evil 
things. She clutched at my arm. 

" There is danger," she muttered. " He 
has been obliged to fly. Alas ! our week at 
the villa exists no longer." 

A moment afterwards there was a move- 
ment towards the gangway. I followed the 
others off the ship, and waited until a 
magnificent -looking functionary, smelling of 
garlic, had made mystic signs with a piece of 
chalk upon my modest trunk. The porter 
shouldered it and turned to me for in- 
structions. 

" A carriage to the Hotel Splendide," I 
directed. 

I was on the point of entering it when I 
felt a touch upon my arm. 

" He insists upon seeing you," she whis- 
pered in a low tone. ' Where are you 
going ? " 



" To the Hotel Splendide," I told her, with 
a sinking heart. 

" I shall fetch you f to-night at six o'clock." 

" Why does Michael want to see me ? " I 
asked, reluctantly. 

" One does not ask Michael questions," she 
answered, with a sneer. " You should have 
found that out by this time." 

I FELT as though an ugly cloud were 
looming over this wonderful holiday of 
mine, and I spent a restless and unsatis- 
factory afternoon. At . six o'clock Louisa 
fetched me in a small fiacre, and we drove 
slowly and with horrible jolts into one of the 
'foulest seafaring slums one could imagine. 
I knew nothing at the time, but I dis- 
covered afterwards that it was a region of 
evil repute throughout not only Marseilles 
but throughout Europe, a region of myriad 
pungent odours, a tawdry medley of cdfis, 
flaunting women, and rollicking groups of 
drink-inflamed men. I began to feel fear. 

" Where are we going ? " I demanded. 

" To the only place where Michael can 
hide in safety," Louisa replied. " Even the 
police of Marseilles would scarcely dare to 
seek him here." 

" It is not fit for us," I muttered, with my 
eyes fixed upon the streets. 

Louisa sneered. 

" It is clear that you were never the 
woman for Michael," she rejoined. 

We stopped at last at the end of a dark 
and narrow street, a place so squalid and 
unsavoury that I hesitated to leave the 
vehicle. Louisa, however, elbowed me out 
and half pushed, half conducted me along an 
entry, with a high wall on either side, a slimy 
place with the swish of waves distinctly 
audible. At the extreme end she pushed 
open a door on the left-hand side. We found 
ourselves in a caf6 of the poorest class, with 
sanded floors and iron tables. A woman, 
fat and with a hideous face, stood behind the 
bar, and whenever I desire to think of some- 
thing horrible I think of the stealthy, vicious 
faces of the men who first glared and then 
leered at us as we crossed the threshold. 

Louisa went straight to. the woman behind 
the bar and whispered in her ear. The woman, 
who had at least three or four chins, nodded 
ponderously and smiled, showing a row of 
yellow, discoloured teeth. She glanced cau- 
tiously around the place, as though to make 
sure that no stranger was amongst her 
clientele. Then, with a fat, be-ringed finger, 
she beckoned us behind the counter, and led 
us down some steps, along a passage, into a 
sombre and fearsome-looking apartment, 
tawdrily furnished, with a cracked gilt mirror 
upon the mantelpiece, walls reeking with 
damp, arid some violet plush chairs of 
incredible shabbiness. ][n the corner was a 



E t Phillips Oppenheim 



/j 




M You devil 1 " he said to me, slowly and menacingly. ** It is you who have brought 

your damned lover -police man here/* 

bed, and upon it Michael was seated, still in chuckle, left us, made my blood run cold, I 

his disguise of a French ouvrier, but with a bad the feeling that 1 was trapped, 

new look upon his face — the hunted, des- ** You devil ! " he said to me, slowly and 

perate look of a man at bay. What I read menacingly. ' 1 It: ii jou who have brought 

in his eyes as the woman, with an evil your ^j^p^^f F|p^ ftere I " 



76 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



" It is false," I replied. " I came to 
Marseilles for a holiday only." 

" A holiday ! " Michael repeated, bitterly, 

" A holiday ! " Louisa almost shrieked. 

" Hear her ! But listen," she added, with a 

terrible smile. " There is time yet to show 

you how Michael and I deal with informers ! " 

By NORMAN GREYES, 

DURING the third week of March, after 
a somewhat restless few months of 
travel in Egypt and Algeria, I reached 
Monte Carlo to find a telegram from my 
friend Rimmington, begging me to come at 
once to Marseilles. I realized that there 
could be but one reason for such a request, 
and in less than twelve hours I found myself 
with Rimmington and M. Demayel, the 
Chief of the Marseilles Police, ransacking the 
contents of a small villa in the suburbs of 
Marseilles, which had lately been the scene of 
one of those crimes for which the place was 
fast gaining an unenviable notoriety. 

I had had no conversation with Rimming- 
ton, and I had no idea why my help had been 
sought in this case, which appeared to have 
no special characteristics. The late in- 
habitant of the villa, a man of over seventy 
years of age, had been found twenty-four 
hours ago, suffering from severe wounds 
about the head and in a state of collapse. He 
was lying in a neighbouring hospital and was 
unlikely to recover. This much, however, 
was clear. He had been robbed of a large 
sum of money, the possession of which he 
had foolishly bragged about in a neighbouring 
cafi, and there seemed to be but little doubt 
that the theft had been committed by a band 
of ill-doers who for the last few months had 
been the terror of the neighbourhood. We 
went through the usual routine of examining 
the means by which entrance had been forced 
into the house and hearing the evidence of 
the local gendarmerie. Afterwards we drove, 
in silence, to the Police headquarters, and it 
was in M. Demayel's private room there that 
Rimmington at last explained what had been 
puzzling me so much. 

" You know, of course, Greyes," he began, 
" what my having sent for you means ? " 

" Michael, I hope." 

Rimmington nodded. I could tell by the 
gleam in his rather cold grey eyes that he 
believed the end to be near at last. 

" We traced him to Paris," he said, " and 
afterwards here. Almost immediately, as 
Monsieur Demayel will tell you, there was 
not only an increase in the number of crimes 
in the district, but there were evidences of a 
master-mind behind them all. Crime here 
had become brain - controlled. Monsieur 
Demayel told me, an hour or so ago, that 
thefts to the value of over eleven million 



francs had been committed within the last 
two months." 

" And the connecting link ? " I questioned. 

" Eight days ago," Rimmington said, 
watching me closely, " Janet Soale sailed 
from Tilbury for Marseilles. The woman 
who was Michael's companion in New York, 
who goes by the name of Louisa Martin, 
after travelling from America to Havre, 
joined the same steamer at Gibraltar, having 
evidently chosen a circuitous route to avoid 
suspicion. Those two women are both on 
their way to Marseilles — they are due to 
arrive, in fact, to-night — and will be closely 
watched. Furthermore, I think that Mon- 
sieur Demayel can show you something of 
interest." 

M DEMAYEL placed a leather-bound 
volume before me and pointed to 
an entry. 
" This," he explained, " is a small collection 
of dossiers which have never been verified." 
I read the few lines quickly : — 

Henri Guy, French-Colonial, bachelor, 
5ft. 6in., morose, grey hair and beard, 
physical appearance described elsewhere, 
address Villa Violette, BandoL Has large 
correspondence. Subscribes to English news- 
papers, amongst which "Golf Illustrated." 
Has small car, and has been seen on Hyires 
Golf Links. 

" And finally ? " I asked. 

'• The person in question," M. Demayel 
continued, •* is reported to have changed 
at the Casino at Bandol last evening one of 
the mille notes stolen from the house we 
visited this afternoon." 

I glanced at my watch. 

" How far is it to Bandol ? " I inquired. 

" Forty-seven kilometres," the Chief of 
the Police replied, " and we should have 
been there by now but my friend Mr. Rim- 
mington here insisted upon waiting for you." 

I asked only one question on the way. 

*• You spoke of Janet Soale as coming 
out on the boat," I said to Rimmington. 
*' That was her name before she married 
Michael." 

Rimmington nodded. 

" For some reason or other she has renewed 
it. It is possible that she has discovered 
something about Michael which I have 
suspected for some time." 

I controlled my voice as well as I £ould. 
I did not wish even Rimmington to know 
how much this meant to me. 

" What do you mean ? " I asked. 

" I believe," he replied, '' that Michael 
was married many years ago to this woman, 
Louisa Martin, Janet Soale may have got 

to ttfl7EBitt6F^rimi be coming out 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



77 



to try to discover the truth. It is certain 
that for many months she has not been in 
communication with Michael." 

The Chief of the Police gazed thoughtfully 
out of the window. 

" It is a curious circumstance," he re- 
marked, " in the lives of most of the great 
criminals of modern days, that their end has 
been brought about by their exciting the 
jealousy of women. Here are two at the 
present moment on their way to Marseilles 
to visit the man whom you call Michael. 
Louisa Martin has been followed from New 
York by a United States detective who has 
been hunting Michael for years, and it was 
Janet Soale's visit to Marseilles which changed 
suspicion into conviction with our friend 
Rimmington here. My predecessor used 
always to say, ' Give the man rope. Follow 
the woman.' " 

WE reached Bandol just before dusk, and 
found the Villa Violette on the out- 
skirts of the town : a secluded little 
house, built amongst some rocks on the 
extreme edge of the bay. We left the car 
in the road and took the path which led to 
the front door. Our summons was at once 
answered by a stout, good -humoured -looking 
Frenchwoman, who shook her head regret- 
fully when we inquired for M. Guy. 

11 Monsieur is out in his automobile," she 
told us. " He may return at any moment, 
or perhaps not at all to-night. It is most 
unfortunate. The gentlemen will leave a 
message ? " 

" We will come in and wait for a little 
time," Demayel suggested. 

The woman did not remove her portly 
form from the threshold. 

" That, alas! monsieur, is impossible ! " she 
declared. " My master receives few visitors, 
and he would not suffer anyone in the house." 

M. Demayel touched her on the shoulder. 
He was looking curiously into her face. 

" Madam," he said, " I am Chef de la 
S&reli of Marseilles, and I go where I choose. 
Furthermore, it seems that your face is 
familiar to me." 

She shrank away. There was a malign 
look suddenly in her dark eyes. 

" Chef de la Surety ! " she muttered. 
" But who has done wrong here ? " 

We searched the sitting-room and dining- 
room of M. Henri Guy, and we found nothing 
that might not have belonged to a French- 
Colonial who had made a small fortune in 
sugar. But in his bedroom, covered over 
with a sheet and hidden behind a cupboard, 
I found a prize indeed. I found the golf 
clubs which Stan field had used when he had 
played against me at Woking. I drew from 
the bag the putter which had sealed my 
defeat, and, even in that moment of triumph, 



I felt a little thrill of pleasure when I realized 
its perfect balance. 

" Our search is over/ I pronounced. 

" Our search is not over," Rimmington 
reminded me, " until we have found the man." 

We were there altogether for half an hour, 
during which time we searched the place 
closely. The small garage was empty, and 
Rimmington pointed out the six or eight 
empty tins which had evidently just been 
used. 

" Filled up for a journey," he remarked. 
" I don't think that we shall see anything of 
our man to-day." 

We announced our intended departure. 
The housekeeper, who now seemed certain 
of her master's immediate return, did her 
best to persuade us to linger. M. Demayel 
cut her short. 

" Madam," he said, " you will be so good 
as to consider yourself under surveillance. 
I shall leave a gendarme in the house with 
you. To-morrow you will be examined. In 
the meantime, make no attempt to com- 
municate with anybody." 

The woman was no longer the smooth- 
tongued, respectable domestic. She burst 
into a torrent of furious complaints and 
abuse, relapsing into a French argot which 
was absolutely incomprehensible to me. M. 
Demayel listened to her thoughtfully. Then 
he turned to the gendarme who had accom- 
panied us from Marseilles on the front seat 
of the car, and whom he was leaving behind. 

" Do not let this woman out of your sight," 
he ordered. " She is of the Maritime 
Quartier, where I suspect her master is in 
hiding by now." 

The gendarme saluted, and laid his hand 
upon the housekeeper's shoulder. Suddenly 
she burst into a fit of laughter, and pointed 
up the avenue. 

"It is monsieur who returns," she 
announced. " Now, what will you say to 
him — you who have ransacked his rooms 
and upset his house ? Chief of the Police, 
indeed ! La, la ! " 

We stood by the front door, and I, for my 
part, was amazed. An elderly gentleman of 
highly-respectable appearance drove up in 
a small Citroyen car and lifted his soft black 
felt hat to us courteously. 

" Good evening, gentlemen," he said. 
" You are paying me a visit ? " 

" You are Monsieur Guy ? " Demayel 
inquired. 

" That is certainly my name," was the 
prompt reply. 

41 And this is your house ? " 

" I rent it subject to your pleasure, 
gentlemen." 

He descended from the car, and look&l 
from one to the other of us inquiringly. I 

kiiew i)«iift^p«fi(flifeN wbat a *** 



78 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



master Michael was in the art of disguises, 
but I knew very well that this was not he. 
Rimmington's eyes met mine. We were 
both agreed. 

" My name is Demayel," the Chief 
announced. " I am the Chef de la StireU 
in Marseilles. You will be so good as to 
answer me a few questions." 

'■ Chef de la SbrtU I " the newcomer 
repeated, and if his amazement were feigned, 
it was very well feigned indeed. 

" But certainly I You have lived here 
for how long ? " 

" For ten months, monsieur.'.' 

" You changed a mille note at the Casino 
yesterday ? " 

v I certainly did." 

" From where did you obtain it ? " 

" From my desk, monsieur. It has lain 
there for weeks." 

I ventured to ask a question on my own 
account. 

" This is your only car ? " 

" Naturally," was the prompt response. 
" There is no room in my garage for more 
than one." 

I excused myself for a moment, and 
returned with the bag of golf clubs. 

" These are perhaps yours ? " I asked him. 

He shook his head. 

'• They were left by a former tenant," he 
replied. " I know nothing of their use." 

I turned into the garage and wheeled out 
one of the rubber tyres which were ranged 
against the wall. 

" If you have no other car," I asked him, 
" how is it all the tyres in your garage are 
like this one — two sizes larger than those 
on the Citroyen you were driving ? " 

He hesitated, and turned his head. He 
knew then that it was the end. The gen- 
darme was returning with a fat little man, 
who wore no coat and waistcoat, and reeked 
of garlic. 

" This man keeps the caft at the corner," 
the former announced. " He knows his 
neighbour Guy well." 

" Is this Monsieur Guy ? " Demayel asked. 

The innkeeper was more than emphatic, 
he was vehement. 

" Upon my soul, no ! " he declared. 
•' Monsieur Guy I know well. This gentle- 
man is a stranger. Monsieur Guy left this 
morning in his car for Paris, one heard." 

Demayel turned to the pseudo M. Guy. 
, " Well ? " 
' The man shrugged his shoulders. 

" I have done what I was paid for," he 
said, sullenly. " I am at your disposal, 
gentlemen." 

" Close the place up," Demayel directed 
the gendarme, " and take this woman and 
the man to Marseilles. Nothing more will 
happen here. As for us," he went on, 



turning to Rimmington and myself, " we 
must now await the arrival of the steamer 
in Marseilles to-night. One of the two 
women, if not both, will lead us to the man 
we seek." 

WE dined that night, Rimmington and I, 
in a remote corner of a great bustling 
restaurant, receiving more than our 
due share of attention owing to the fact that 
M. Demayel had himself telephoned and 
ordered the table. The latter had promised 
to join us for coffee, but before we reached 
that stage of our repast we were surprised to 
see him coming hastily towards us, followed 
by a tall, bearded man of military bearing. 
Demayel was a man of imperturbable 
expression, yet it was obvious that he brought 
news. 

" Messieurs," he said, as he sat for a 
moment at our table, " a grave thing has 
happened. Let me explain briefly. The 
young man who has acted as my secretary 
for five years has absconded. It is proved 
that he has been in league with a great 
criminal organization ever since he has held 
his post. It is he, without a doubt, who 
warned the man whom you call Michael. 
Worse than that, his report to me that the 
Carlyon would not reach dock until to-night 
was a lie. She arrived this morning, and 
landed her passengers this afternoon. My 
plans for having those two women watched 
have been rendered abortive." 

A surge of nameless fears suddenly rose up 
in my heart. I pictured Janet in danger. I 
did not believe that she had come to Mar- 
seilles to rejoin Michael. I half rose to my 
feet, but Demayel waved me back. 

" Listen ! " he continued. " This much we 
know at present. The Englishwoman went 
first to the Hotel Splendide. At six o'clock 
this evening she was called for by the other 
woman, and they drove off alone. They 
were shadowed, fortunately, by Lund, the 
American detective who followed Louisa 
Martin over, and who reports that his life was 
attempted last night. This woman Martin, 
it seems, has an evil reputation. She has 
been in prison twice in her younger days in 
Paris, and she was tried for murder seven 
years ago. She is desperately cruel, but of 
desperate courage. Lund reports that there 
is ill blood between the two women. He is 
convinced that the Englishwoman, Janet 
Soale, as she called herself on the steamer, 
has been decoyed into some place to meet 
Michael." 

" How far did he follow them ? " I asked. 
" Where is he now ? " 

" He followed them into the worst quarter 
of Marseilles," Demayel replied, " but as 
soon as he discovered their destination he 
had the jaxxl sense to return for aid. They 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



79 



are in the one quarter of the city which I 
have not yet succeeded in clearing. We 
have hesitated many times when on the 
point of attempting a coup here. To-night 
the attempt shall be made/' 

" Let us start ! " I exclaimed, eagerly. 

We moved towards the door. 

" I deeply regret," Demayel announced, 
•• that this is an adventure on which I cannot 
accompany you. If I were to show myself 
in the Quartier I should not only endanger 
your lives but I should of an absolute cer- 
tainty forfeit my own. Monsieur Santel 
here," he added, turning to his companion, 
M will take command of the expedition. 
Lund is in one of the cars outside. A 
sufficient force of gendarmes has already 
penetrated secretly into the Quartier. It 
remains only for me to wish you good 
fortune." 

IN the car which we found waiting for us, 
we passed from the broad thoroughfares of 

the city to a region of increasing squalor 
and ugliness, along boulevards whose cobbled 
stones were littered with refuse, where the 
men and women who sat at their windows 
became more and more repulsive. The 
gaiety of the city was succeeded by a sombre 
silence. There was no music in the cafis, 
no laughter from the lips of the women. One 
seemed to read in those hungry, unwashed, 
and painted faces one common characteristic 
— greed. Furtive eyes followed our car 
lustfully because it meant wealth. Once or 
twice men half rose from their places, as 
though to follow us. It was difficult to 
. imagine that this was a street in a civilized 
city. 

" One sees little of the law down here," I 
remarked. 

Our guide shrugged his shoulders. 

" The castaways of the world are to be 
found always in a great port," he said. " We 
leave them alone when we can. This place 
is their safety-valve. When we are forced 
to come, we come as we have to-night — in 
hundreds." 

I realized what he meant when we de- 
scended, a few minutes later. At every 
corner of the little network of streets through 
which we pushed our way, some apparent 
lounger whispered a word in Santel's ear. 
When, at last, we reached the end of a 
gloomy street, which terminated with the 
great iron gates of a shipyard, our guide 
turned and spoke to us. 

" Follow me," he directed, " and be dis- 
creet. Remember a blow of the fists will 
send a hundred of these rats to their holes — 
but always look behind." 

We descended some small stone steps, 
passed along a narrow passage, and entered 
a cafi, the most dilapidated and filthy which 



I have ever been in. There were a dozen 
men seated around, drinking, two or three 
asleep or drunk, one who covered up his face. 
A woman lolled across the counter and looked 
at us, a woman whose untidy clothing seemed 
to be falling away from her repulsive body. 
She had a heavy moustache upon her upper 
lip, and narrow jet-black eyes. 

" In the name of the Police, madam," 
Santel whispered in her ear. 

" At your service," she replied 

" We want none of your usual jail birds," 
Santel continued. " Stand on one side, 
please." 

The woman's face was hideous, but she 
shrugged her shoulders. 

" There is nothing," she muttered. " One 
has been here, perhaps, but he has gone." 

We passed behind that counter, through a 
door, into a noisome house, wrapped in utter 
darkness. Four other men seemed to have 
crept up to us like shadows and we all had 
electric torches. Some of the rooms had 
been used for sleeping ; some, apparently, 
for a filthy carouse. All were empty. At a 
certain point in the descent of some stone 
steps we paused. Three of the men felt 
about for some time. Then an unsuspected 
door slowly swung open, a door which 
seemed to lead into a chasm, black and 
impenetrable. The man who had Slipped 
past Santel and become our guide stretched 
up his hand and polled down a long, thin 
ladder. He let it down until it touched the 
ground. One by one we descended into 
what seemed to be a great cellar. At the 
farther end was a kink of light from the 
room beyond, and a sound which for the 
moment made a madman of me — the sound 
of a woman crying. I stumbled across the 
uneven floor, but Santel caught hold of my 
arm. 

" Be careful," he muttered. " If our 
man is there and sees you, he will shoot. 
Let the others surround him. We have 
a plan." 

I scarcely heard him, but I held my breath 
and kept silence while someone attempted 
to find means of ingress. We were there, 
seven of us, mad with the desire for this 
man's capture, yet for the first few moments 
the stone walls seemed to mock us. Lund 
was running his fingers round the chinks of 
what seemed to be the door, but could 
find no opening. Then, suddenly, I heard 
Michael's voice. Cold and measured as 
ever, it seemed to me, though he must 
have known that he was in desperate 
straits. 

" For the last time, Janet, the truth," he 
said. " What- has become of the money 
which was handed over to you — the price* of 
the jewels — and why have you followed me 
to Marseilles -SITY OF MICHIGAN 



8o The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 




There was a moment's silence, 
It was terrible to hear how weak 
Janet's voice was. 

"No one has, given me any 
money," she replied, " I have 
earned my own living since we 
parted." 

There was a peal of mocking laughter, 
and I knew that the other woman must 
have been standing over^her.- - 

'* Liar ! " Louisa exclaimed. " Tell us 
why you came to Marseilles, and why Rim- 
mington, the English detective, has followed. 
Tell us who called, your new lover, Norman 
Greyes, from Monte Carlo ? " 

** I know nothing of any of those things/' 
was the weak reply, "My uncle left me 
two hundred and fifty pounds — Scale, the 
gardener, who once worked for you, Michael. 
I came to Marseilles for a rest and a holiday." 

Again there was a peal of derisive laughter 
from Louisa Martin, followed fay the soft 
ringing of an electric bell and a fierce oath 
from Michael, There was a moment's 
silence, the scurrying of feet, the flinging 
back of what sounded like a door. Michael's 
voice, when he spoke, had changed. Fear 
at last seemed to have entered into him. 

" You have had your chance, Janet/ 1 he 
said. "I shall leave you to Louisa/' 

Janet's pitiful voice was roused almost to 
a shriek. 

V Don't leave me alone with her, Michael I " 
she implored. " She terrifies me ! " 

A fortunate madness seized me. I flung 
my whole weight against the door, and we 
feU into the place in a heap. The impression 
of those few moments will never fade from 
my memory. Janet, her feet and arms tied 
with cord, white and numb "with fear, was 
lying on the ground, Louisa Martin, with 



Our pistols spoke together, and the sound 
ol their report was followed almost imme- 
diately by the crashing of the trap-door. 



the face of a Fury and eyes filled with hate, 
leaning over her, Michael, with unrecog- 
nizable face but unforgettable eyes, was 
already half-way, through a trap-door + He 
raised his arm simultaneously with mine. 
Our pistols spoke together, and the sound 
of their report was followed almost imme- 
diately by the crashing of the trap-door. 
I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder, and for 
a moment 1 think I went mad, I was cutting 
the cords which bound Janet's hands and. 
feet, talking to her foolishly, trying to keep 
back the famtness which threatened me. 
Then the mist came and the room rocked. 
The last thing I remembered was Louisa 
Martin's laugh. 

MY first visitor in the hospital, six weeks 
later, was M. Demayel. He adopted a 
tone of apology. 
"That man's escape, Sir Norman /V he , 
confessed, " was a most deplorable incident/' 
" How did ho get &w;iv ? " I inquired. 



E« Phillips Oppenheim 



81 



from the room in which you found him." 
RL Demaycl explained, " by means of a rope 
ladder, to a narrow inlet of the harbour, 
which at full tide is directly underneath. 
He secured the trap-door behind him by means 
of a bolt, got into a petrol launch, and 
apparently made his way across the bay. 
The launch was discovered next day upon 
the beach, and there is a theory that he was 
washed overboard by a heavy sea. At any 
rate, he has not been seen or heard of since/* 

" Louisa Martin ? " I asked. 

" Safe for seven years," was the grim reply. 

" And— the Englishwoman ? " 

ML Demayel glanced suspiciously at the 
bowl of flowers by my bedside. 

H She remained in Marseilles for some 
time, I do not know her present where- 
abouts." 

P As soon as my visitor had gone I sent for 
the nurse. 

ir From whom did these flowers come ? J * 
I inquired. 

She smiled as a Frenchwoman does who 
scents a romance. 

,T Until you were out of danger/' she told 
me F H a very beautiful English lady called 
every day, A week ago she returned to 
England, but she left with the Sister an order 
on a florist for roses every dav for a fort- 
night/' 

M She left no note or message ? " 

" Nothing." 

" When can I leave for England ? " I 
demanded. 

Tbe nurse looked at me reproachfully. 



"In a fortnight, if you behave/' 
she answered. " Perhaps never, if 
you work yourself into a fever/ 1 

"Nurse," I asked, "have you ever 
been in love ? " 

" It is not a fit question from a 
patient to his nurse/' she replied, 
with a pleasant little gleam in her 
eyes and a quiver at the corners of 
her lips. 

" I need sympathy/' I explained, 
11 but if you will not talk to me, I 
shall go to sleep/' 

-< The more you sleep/' she de- 
clared, ' ' the sooner you will be able 
to go to England/* 
. So I slept. 

Next month ; 
''Michael's Wedding Gift" 




Qitize<l by 



Vol. i«iv - e. 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Bz 



BARBARA 
GETS BUSY 



SI CRICKET STORY 



T 




HE girl in the oppo- 
site corner read her 



morning paper 
st eadily ; ever 
since they had left St. 
Pancras, a good three 
minutes ago, her eyes had 
not wavered from the 
print. 

Bruce Avenell read his, too, but not so 
steadily, for he was a bit unnerved. Only 
just in time had he dashed, up the platform 
and flung his long cricket -bag into the 
nearest carriage ; half the train had emerged 
from the station before he realized that the 
prettiest little lady in all the world was 
leaving London that day, and that Fate had 
made her his only travel ling -com pan ion. 

A newspaper could have had no more 
■wonderful news than that p so Avenell used 
his merely as a cover from which to observe 
the most confoundedly attractive girl he had 
ever encountered. Did girls have their hair 
np at eighteen, he wondered ; or was she a 
few years older than that ? He couldn't 
tell, for he had no sisters of his own to judge 
by, and, though he himself was twenty -five, 
he had had no enlightening adventures in 
love. Cricket, and business, had so far filled 
his life very completely. 

Avenell decided that since he could 
scarcely stare, even covertly, at his com- 
panion the whole journey through, the best 
thing to do was to sleep, This good resolu- 
tion he immediately proceeded to put into 
effect, but he at once discovered that, even 
when his eyes were to all appearances 
tightly closed, he could still retain the 
delightful vision of a very shapely si Ik -clad 
ankle. Only fools, thought Avenell, would 
think seriously of sleeping in the forenoon 
of a sunny day in July. 

Glancing up, he could have sworn that he 
surprised a laughing glimpse at him. But 
the light, if ever it had been there, died so 
abruptly in the eyes, and the lips, if ever they 



REEVES 
SHAW 



ILLUSTRATED BY 

h.elcock: 



had curved, straightened 
again so unmistakably, that 
Avenell hastily resumed his 
interrupted contemplation 
of silk and shoe. 

It was many minutes 
later before he again ven- 
tured to look upwards. 
The girl was still absorbed 
in her paper, but on her lap lay now an 
object which Avenell could have sworn had 
not previously been there. It was a gold 
cigarette-case. Even Avenell could not fail 
to see the significance of this silent appeal, 
and he conquered his natural shyness man- 
fully, 

k< I beg your pardon/' he said, " but \t 
you wish to smoke, please do/* 

The girl was a little, ever so little, sur- 
prised. But her eyes followed his to the 
cigarette-case, and she understood, 

"Oh, that" she said, laughing lightly. 
41 No, I don't smoke, I only carry cards— 
and one or two little photographs in it* 
But if you — — " 

"No, thanks. I'm awfully sorry, I 

thought Well, 1 really am sorry." 

She helped him all she could with a smile 
which even she did not know was quite so 
devastating, 

'* It was entirely my own fault, Please 
don't apologize." 

Avenell realized that he had to keep the 
sacred flame of conversation burning now, 
or let it fade for ever into everlasting dark- 
ness. The prospect of a relapse into dreadful 
silence terrorized him ; terrorized him more 
even than the probability of a very direct 
snub. By nature he was a painfully shy 
man — a man who saw things from the other 
person's point of view — a man who thought 
that opportunity did not necessarily make a 
cad — but an overwhelming impulse gave 
him to understand that on rare occasions 
nature needed a helping hand. This was a 



Reeves Shaw 



83 



"You know," he heard himself saying, 
*' a fellow feels a dreadful kind of an ass 
when he — when he makes a mistake like 
that. 1 say, have you any idea how far it is 
to Rufford ? " 

" Are you going to Rufford ? " 

There are, perhaps, purists who will say 
that a question cannot be a, lie. But Barbara 
Grant will not take side with the purists. 
She knew that the question was a lie. She 
knew just about all there was to know about 
Bruce Avenell, a great deal more probably 
than that young man had ever troubled to 
remember about himself. She knew exactly 
his place in the bowling averages, unerringly 
his most famous achievements, and precisely 
the fear in which the best of the county bats- 
men faced him. She herself had been 
brought up in the atmosphere of first-class 
cricket, and the daily picture-papers had 
made Bruce Avenell 's personality as well 
known to her as if he had been a lifelong 
friend. And none better than she knew that 
that day Downshire were playing their 
Midland rivals, Loamshire, at Rufford. 

" Yes. Rufford's my journey's end," said 
Avenell. " I'm playing cricket there. My 
team's been touring in the North, but business 
kept me away. That's how I'm travelling 
alone. I wonder why they want to play 
matches in out - of - the - way holes like 
Rufford ? " 

" I dare say they appreciate cricket as 
much at Rufford as they do at — at the Oval," 
retorted Barbara, a trifle sharply. No one 
likes to hear one's native place called an 
out-of-the-way hole. 

" I expect they're as keen as they are at 
Canterbury, but it's a devilish awkward 
place to get at. Still, I'm awfully glad they 
chose it." 

Barbara was far too sensible, far too 
practised a hand in the gentle art of flirtation, 
to appear to doubt his meaning. Her eyes 
held his for the briefest moment, and the 
faintest blush delicately stained her cheeks. 
With a delightful little thrill Avenell realized 
that the glass was most perceptibly rising. 

THE Lady Fate, who on occasions extends 
a gentle hand to those in worthy need, 
here smilingly entered into the plot ; or 
it may be that Barbara, unaccustomed to rely 
on capricious assistance at critical moments, 
caused the little diversion herself. With 
fascinated eyes Avenell saw the little collec- 
tion of articles on her lap, vanity-bag, 
cigarette-case, and magazine, go slipping in 
all directions to the floor. And at that very 
instant the train, with one short whoop of 
delight, flung itself into the embrace of what, 
by courtesy, may be called a tunnel. 

Avenell 's dark head no more than lightly 
brushed the fair hair of his companion as 



they simultaneously plunged forward to pick 
up the scattered goods. His apology could 
not have been more fervent if their collision 
had been so violent that it had stunned her. 
Groping in the dark, their hands met, 
lingered for the briefest paradise of gentle 
pressure, and were forgotten in the passion 
of Avenell 's kiss. As the train emerged 
from the tunnfel, scarcely a hundred yards 
long, Avenell was on the seat beside her, his 
arm round her waist, his mouth taking full 
toll from her unresisting lips. 

" Oh ! " sighed Barbara, when at length 
she had the opportunity. " Oh ! " 

" Yes, it was a bit sudden, wasn't it ? " 
agreed Avenell. " I hope — I hope it wasn't 
too altogether unexpected." 

" And we're running into a station," cried 
Barbara. " And my hat I What will people 
think ! " 

Avenell looked, judicially, at her hat ; 
even to masculine eyes it certainly seemed a 
good bit crumpled. As has been seen, he 
was a man of action, and even as the train 
slowed down by the platform, he pulled down 
the window-blinds. 

" Now," he said, " nobody can see your 
hat. And if anybody tries to get in this 
carriage, they'll be severely handled. I 
wonder what place this is ? " 

" Only a stupid little country town. By 
the way, you might pick up my bag, will 
you ? And the magazine ; I might still 
read it, even though it has been pretty badly 
trodden on." 

" I say, I'm awfully sorry ! " 

" Why, for kissing me ? " 

" No, for treading on your magazine." 

" It's the sort of thing a man would 
apologize for ; it's so apparent that it isn't 
the nice clean, pretty thing it was a few 
moments ago. Oh, I know it was my 
fault ! " 

Avenell was puzzled, frankly puzzled ; 
he had had no experience in the agility of a 
girl's emotions. 

" Your fault that I kissed you ? " he 
ventured. 

" Don't be silly," she answered, savagely. 
" My fault that the magazine's in tatters. 
I trod on it more than you did ! " 

A genuine sigh of relief escaped her as the 
guard's whistle blew and the train again got 
into action. It had scarcely drawn clear of 
the station before Barbara burst into tears. 
And Avenell recognized, to his dismay, that 
they were very genuine tears, that he was 
witnessing the soul-storm of a very repentant 
girl. Doubtless there were many men who, 
having caused this most embarrassing situa- 
tion to occur, could have handled it firmly, 
and at that moment he would have bartered 
all his own bright dreams for a magic touch 

on ^MsiTY OF MICHIGAN 



i 



*4 



Barbara Gets Busy 




His hand actually grasping the chain, Avenell paused for a moment and stared downwards. 



" I say/' he said, trying gently to part the 
slender fingers pressed so firmly to her face, 
"you haven't, honestly, done anything, 
really worth while crying about .'* 

Perfectly ineffective — but, at any rate, he 
had said something. 

" You'll hate me ! Oh p you'll hate me!" 
she sobbed. 

Avenell had aged a score of years in the 
last few minutes, but now his youth rushed 
back to him in full glory Her tears had 



abased and overwhelmed him, but speech, 
the first sign of returning reason, Mas the 
dove let loose from Ararat, 

" It seemed all right — till we got — till we 

got to the station, but — after that Oh, 

what a little cad I've been ! " 

Once again he tried to break down the 
barricade of her hands ; if he could only 
kiss her, just once, But she shrank from 
his touch, pressing still more obstinately into 



Reeves Shaw 



85 



" Do you know — what that station was — 
which we've just left ? "* Before he had even 
time to think she sprang the answer on him : 
M Rufford !" 

Avenell sprang to his feet: " Rufford ! 
Where I get out ? " he cried. 

*• I said you'd hate me," sobbed Barbara. 
'lAnd the next stop's a hundred and thirty 
miles." She was a brave little girl to let 
him have it all at once like that. 

** Why the dickens " began Avenell, 

and then his eyes lightened, and on his lips 
a little smile was born. " After all, it 
doesn't much matter." His arm stretched 
upwards to the communication chain. 

" Don't do that," said Barbara, very 
quietly. " For when they come I'll tell 
them I pulled it — that you frightened me — 

that you Oh, can't you see whom 

they'll believe ! " 

Drawn to his full height, his hand actually 
grasping the chain, Avenell paused for a 
moment and stared downwards. She met 
his eyes without wavering. Slowly his 
fingers relaxed their grip, and he sank into 
his seat. " You have a pretty mind, " he said. 

" Oh, I've told you I am a little cad," she 
answered. " But I've begun, and I'm going 
on. Giving in wouldn't make me forgive 
myself. And you — you've had your kisses ; 
you needn't squeal at the price." 

Avenell winced. There was a measure of 
rough justice in what she said. Play and 
pay. It was always the game. Well, he'd 
played, so he wasn't going to play. Not at 
Rufford, anyhow, with stumps pitched at 
twelve and the train scurrying northwards. 
He wondered what old man Wainwright 
would say when he tried to explain. 

BARBARA'S voice interrupted his reverie. 
" That last thing I said wasn't fair. 
I beg your pardon. I'm not usually 
venomous, but to-day I'm a little worked 
up. You've every right to squeal. I really 
wish you would get angry ; it would be so 
much more natural. Just spend the next 
half-hour telling me exactly what you think 
of me." 

" You might begin to cry again if I did," 
f aid Avenell. 

Barbara flushed. " You sneer at me for 
that — the only decent, honest thing I've done. 
Oh, you men are beastly ! " 

It is to his eternal credit that Avenell 
laughed ; the really sincere, ringing laugh of 
the sportsman who has lost. 

" Look here," he said; " I'll forgive you 
everything if you'll just tell me why you've 
put yourself to all this bother of trapping 
me. What difference did it make to you 
whether I got out at Rufford or not ? " 

Barbara Grant did not reply. 

" Tell me/' he said, and his voice 



was very low and kind, " tell me the 
whole lot." 

" Oh," she burst out, vehemently, "it's 
all too disgustingly mean for anything. Of 
course, I recognized you from the very first. 
I knew who you were, where you were going, 
and what it would mean to Reggie Grant, 
of Loamshire. Swear you won't tell Grant, 
won't you ? Promise me ! He'd never speak 
to me again if he knew ! " She looked at 
Avenell in anxious appeal, and he nodded, 
determined to do nothing to stem the flood 
of the story. " That's all — surely you can 
see it all now ? The Gentlemen and Players' 
at Lord's next week — Reggie Grant's a 
certainty, almost a certainty, an absolute 
certainty if he makes a good score to-day. 
You know what the selectors are — always 
after the man in form at the moment. Only 
on Tuesday I heard Reggie say there was but 
one bowler in England he feared — ' that 
blighter Avenell, of Downshire.' Speaking 
hard fact, he was, for you bowled him three 
times last year in county games, and once 
in the North v. South at Scarborough." 

" And you're keen on seeing Grant' picked 
for the match at Lord's ? " 

" Heavens, if I wasn't, if we all weren't, 
if it wasn't the biggest thing in family 
history for years, d'you think I should have 
slid into doing what I did ? It was so easy, 
and I never really thought about it until— 
until it was all over. I only saw it, at first, 
like a new kind of game, and I went all out 
to win. But, really, it was a lot your fault ; 
if you hadn't so — so obviously wanted to be 
— friendly — the idea would never have 
occurred to me. You can't say that I led 
you on ! " 

" No," admitted Avenell. " You just 
took advantage of a Heaven-sent opportunity. 
Shall we let it go at that, and be friends 
again ? I promise to forgive you absolutely 
if you'll just tell me what Grant is to you 
that you should be so anxious about him." 

For the second time that morning Bar- 
bara's gloved hands eclipsed her face ; in an 
agony Test there should be a recurrence of 
tears, Avenell cursed himself for asking 
foolish questions. He did not know that, 
safe behind their slender shutters, merry 
eyes were mocking him. 

" I'm — I'm his wife," said Barbara, faintly. 

The world went upside down for Avenell 
as he heard ; there was no world, nothing 
and nobody but one great, clumsy cad — 
himself. Tragedy's sable curtain dropped 
heavily and completely upon the little 
harlequinade. No realization that love's 
young dream was shattered caused distress 
to him. Love did not die, for love had not 
been born. But honour died. A pal's wife ! 
Healthy in mind as he was in body, Avenell 
felt, with the heroic exaggeration of youth, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



86 



Barbara Gets Busy 



the shame of it- Cricket is a white rnan'-s 
game — and he'd have to look Reggie Grant 
in the face and shake hands with him. 
Avenell shivered ; somebody was walking 
over his grave. 

THE train slowed down, the noise of 
brakes woke Avenell from his bitter 
reverie. He gathered up his bag and 
got out, raising his hat mechanically to 
Barbara as he did so. Further than that he 
took no notice of her. 

In a quarter of an hour he was in tele- 
phonic communication with Wainwright, the 
captain of Downshire* In another ten 
minutes a splendid Daimler was fceing 
hacked out of the biggest garage in the town. 
Avenell was dazed, but he was obeying the 
primal instinct, the homing instinct. The 
cricket -field was home to him, the critikct* 
field where his side was playing. * 1 * 

The Daimler was ready, drawn up by the 
kerb. He was just getting in when a light 
hand fell upon his sleeve. 

M Please, I've got to get to Rufford too. 
And I've no money/ 1 said Barbara. 

If she had been a man, Avenell would have 
knocked her down. She was a girl, so he 
stepped aside, and, climbing in, she nestled 
snugly in the corner. 

" Thanks," she said, " You know, you 
are a bit of a sportsman, Mr, Avenell." 

He made no reply. Slile after mile fled 
by in absolute silence. Still absorbed en- 
tirely in his own thoughts, Bar- 
bara did not exist to him. And 
she was quite content, glad even 
that he took it so. A white little 



girl herself, she would have hated him if he 
had taken it otherwise. And she did not 
want to hate him ; she did not want him to 
hate her — always, 

Almost an hour had passed before the 
silence was broken. Then Barbara could 
not restrain her inquisitivencss any longer, 
Avenell had knowledge which she had not, 
It was unfair. 

" Who are in ? " she asked, abruptly. 

" We are. And we shall bat all day." 
He could not conceal the note of triumph. 
More than that, though he struggled hard, 
for quite several moments, not to make the 
obvious quotation, the desire to gloat proved 
irresistible. " The best laid schemes of mice 
and men gang aft agley," he grunted. 

" It's nice of you only to call me a mouse," 
said Barbara. 

But Avenell was not to be drawn ; common 




The stumps crashed, and slip 
made a brilliant catch of the 
spinning bail. But a no- ball had 
saved the batsman once again, 



by Google 



courtesy had compelled him to offer a seat in 
the car to the girl who had so terribly caused 
him to break the code about other people's 
wives, but there was no call upon him to 
entertain her. He had done enough of that 
in the train ! Banked clouds cf trouble lay 
ahead of him, and Ids heirt vaa heavy. The 

VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Reeves Shaw 



s 7 



best part of an hour passed before he 
so much as looked at her. She was 
asleep. Evidently Conscience was a 
particularly well-trained servant of 
Barbara Grant's ! 

She woke just 25 the car was making 









the long, straggling High Street, which is the 
principal feature of R afford* Her hand on 
Avenell's sleeve claimed his attention. 

** I think I'll get down here, please/* she 
requested, "If we drove up to the ground 
together it would look rather — strange." 
Avenell signalled to the chauffeur. " And 
thanks for such a pleasant journey," re- 
marked Barbara, as she waved him good-bye. 

DOWNSHIRE had made two hundred and 
eighty for seven wickets, their crack 
bowler discovered, as his eyes anxiously 
sought the score- board* He was always tenth 
man in, so no harm at all had occurred to 
his side through Barbara's little plot. There 
remained, however, the personal stain of it, 
and Avenell felt a hundred per cent, a 
criminal as he thrust his way towards 
Wainwright (who, having made a very jolly 
fifty-seven r was at ease with the world) and 
apologized for the lateness of his arrival. 

" Awfully sorry ; got held up badly, as I 
telephoned." 

" Doesn't matter a bit f old son/ 1 boomed 



Wain wright. " You're in fine time to 

bundle 'em out to-morrow. Have a 

drink, Hallo, Buswell's bowled ! We 

might get a wicket or two off 'em to-night. 

Buck up and change.'* 

Downshire were out for three hundred 
and fifteen, a couple of fours being Avenell's 
bag before mid-off htmg bravely on to a 
full-hearted punch, A bare twenty minutes 
remained for play as Wainwright's little 
white-clad company clustered through the 
gate and deployed, leisurely and laughingly, 
to their various positions on the fiefd. 

Avenell found himself waiting with in- 
tense interest to see who would first emerge 
from the pavilion to 
bat for Loamshire. He 
wondered if Grant 
would have the pluck, 
seeing how much suc- 
cess meant to him, to 
come out for that 
supremely dangerous 
twenty minutes. So 
many of our leading 
batsmen prefer, very 
wisely, to leave it to 
the morrow, to offer 
up as a sacrifice some- 
body else's wicket to 
preserve their own. A man danced down 
the pavilion steps. It was Grant, and 
Avenell's sportsman's heart went out to 
him. The man was good goods, any- 
how, whatever Barbara might be. His 
thoughts were interrupted by Wain- 
wright. 
" If we get this fellow Qut to-night, 
Avenell. it'll save us the devil of a lot of 
trouble to-morrow. Sling in some of your 
best, old man." 

The first two or three overs brought 
cricket of the usual late -afternoon kind ; the 
steadiest of batting against eager bowling. 
No fireworks, a casual run here and there, 
with the spectators slowly dwindling, en- 
thusiasts going happily home with the 
prospect of a full day's batting by the home 
team on the morrow. Two more overs and 
stumps would be pulled, and the chance of a 
wicket falling had dwindled almost to ex- 
tinction. No excitement, merely the placid 
get -the -job-over air about everything. 

Avenell at deep third man watched Grant 
patiently pushing ball after ball along the 
ground to mid-off, and the almost mechanical 
triangular journey of the ball — bowler to 
batsman, batsman to mid-off, niid-off to 
bowler ^became so monotonous that it 
seemed nothing else could happen till the end 
of Time. Strange chap, Grant, a bit young 
to be married, he found himself thinking ; 
probably jolly well off, though, lucky dog ; 



88 



Barbara Gets Busy 



three or four years older than Barbara. 
Fancy that kid being his wife ! Oughtn't 
to be allowed, flappers running about and 
collaring 

Avenell distinctly heard the gasp of surprise 
from the hundred or so members still re- 
maining in the pavilion behind him. He 
woke up. What had happened ? Heavens, 
almost on top of him the ball in a spiral spin 
was dropping into his hands ! But where 
were his hands ? Up all right, level with his 
face, yes, but nowhere on the* line of that 
cursedly-swerving ball. He made a final 
frantic effort to focus the thing, took a fatal 
half -step forward, blundered beyond repair. 

Unperturbed, the umpires changed posi- 
tions for the last over of the day, the wicket- 
keeper waddled clumsily down the pitch, and 
Wairtwright muttered the conventional "Hard 
luck, Avenell ! " They had all seen catches 
dropped before. A confounded nuisance, of 
course, but all in the day's work. 

Only to Avenell was the supreme tragedy ; 
even as the ball lay dead at his feet, he saw 
in it the image of Barbara's mocking face. 
The kid had triumphed. Not once in a 
thousand times could he have dropped that 
catch, but a mind which should have been 
concentrated on the game had been stolen 
at the all-important moment by the girl who 
had laughed at him all day. That he had 
dropped the catch was nothing ; that she 
should have been the direct cause of his 
dropping it was the agony unable to be borne. 

They were waiting for him to bowl the 
last over ; he picked up the ball, and strode 
to his position. Suddenly he noticed that 
Grant was the batsman facing him. So they 
had run while he was dropping the catch ? 
He had, then, just a chance to get even ; six 
chances of crying quits. He tore down to 
the wicket, flung down a ball with the whole 
of his hate behind it. Grant pecked at it, 
hopelessly at sea, and a bare inch from the 
off stump the ball went flying by. Grimly 
he set about his second delivery, and almost 
perfectly the result was the same. Grant 
looked up, amazed ; for three consecutive 
balls nothing but sheer blind luck had saved 
him. Avenell's third ball whizzed by, 
scarcely letting daylight in between it and 
the top of the bails. The wicket-keeper, 
already standing deep, moved back a further 
yard, grinning. He knew ; he had kept for 
thirteen years, and he wanted to keep for a 
few more yet. The fourth and the fifth ball 
played around the stumps like bullets from 
the gun of a performing cowboy improving 
on the showmanship of William Tell. 

One more ball. The stumps crashed, and 
slip made a brilliant catch of the spinning 
bail. But in time with the music of the 
splintering wood came the umpire's sturdy 
call. A no-ball, a foot dragged too soon 



across the line, had saved the batsman once 
again. Avenell was done ; he had no 
strength, no heart, for another effort, and 
the easy ball he offered up for the extra 
delivery was the only one that Grant had 
properly sighted in the whole over. The 
batsman breathed a sigh of gratitude that 
the ordeal was over for the day and turned 
happily for the pavilion. 

He was waiting for Avenell as the latter 
came up the steps, hand outstretched in 
frankest admiration. 

" A man never had such vile luck in his 
life ! Six absolute beauties, and 1 never 
saw one of them. Awfully sorry, Avenell, 
I didn't see you at lunch, but you've got to 
come home with me. Put you up for the 
match, you know. Wainwright's coming, 
and Foster." 

Avenell, unprepared, flushed. 

" I say, you know, that's awfully good of 
you, but — I can't. Honestly I can't. It's 
absolutely impossible ! " 

" Rot, old man ! Nothing's so impossible 
in this dull old town as the hotel accommo- 
dation ! Besides, you'll bust up the bridge four 
if you back out. He's simply got to come, 
hasn't he, Babs ? " 

" Why, of course you must come, Mr. 
Avenell," said a well-remembered voice 
immediately behind him. " Reggie will be 
terribly disappointed if you don't. And so 
shall I ! " 

" That's settled it," cried Grant, triumph- 
antly. " Everybody does what Babs tells 
'em to. Don't be too long changing, there's a 
good chap." 

DINNER was over, billiards was over, and 
the fourth and final rubber was being 
buried with grand slam pomp. The four 
men had been left to themselves the whole 
evening ; even the dinner itself had been a 
bachelor party, for, Grant explained, his 
mother was a little unwell, and was dining 
in her room, with Babs to keep her com- 
pany. His invariable habit of referring to 
her as " Babs " annoyed Avenell consider- 
ably ; it was such a ridiculous diminutive 
of a very attractive name, and so absurdly 
inappropriate. There was nothing of the 
Babs about Barbara ! 

" And that's that," said their host, pro- 
ceeding to tot up. " Five-forty-eight, I make 
it, about a hundred more than we shall score 
to-morrow. Thirteen and ninepence, Avenell, 
please. You've paid for your bed and 
breakfast ! One more drink, and to bed, 
you chaps ! " 

They trooped upstairs, and of the four 
Avenell was the most tired and the least 
sleepy. As soon as his head touched the 
pillow he knew what his fate was to be : the 
old story oi mental liveliness an easy winner 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Reeves Shaw 



89 



dffife. 




"Am I forgiven?" 
He had not the least 
idea that Barbara was 
near him till she spoke. 



against bodily fatigue. The vivid est little 
pictures of Avenell making a fool of himself 
jazzed before his eyes : Avenell kissing his 
host's wife, Avenell dropping a sitter, 
Avenell with asses* ears, soon to get affright- 
ingly mixed up with Avenell dropping 
Barbara out of trains and every possible and 
impossible juggle of the day's contorted 
events. 

There wasn't a shadow of doubt ; Avenell 
was "for it." After perhaps half an hour's 
struggle against the inevitable he admitted 
defeat. Jumping out of bed he flung on a 
dressing-gown and lit a cigarette. French 
windows opened on to a veranda that ran 
the full length of the face of the house. At 
intervals low railings divided the veranda 
into sections, with the result that the 
occupant of each bedroom had so much 
space in which to do sentry-go, should he 
desire it, It was a wonderful, warm moon- 
light night, and sleepless Avenell desired it. 

For some while he paced up and down his 



strip of veranda, not quite the length of a 
cricket pitch, he found. Then he sat down 
on the little railing. He discovered that he 
had only two cigarettes left. If he had to 

think without smoking Still, it was 

better to think out here, in the sane air, 
than in that infernal Grand Guignol bed. 

Ought he to tell Grant ? Dash it, it wasn't 
done, to kiss and tell ! But shaking his hand, 
eating his meat, playing the friend, that 
wasn't done either ! Only such a kid of a 
girl, too. 

Slippered feet make no noise. How long 
she had been there Avenell to this day does 
not know. Clever men sense the presence of 
women they — almost — love in a hundred 
ways ; oh, yes, it's wonderful how they're 
always right. But Avenell was a common 
get -on -with- the- job sort of guy, pure psycho- 
neuter and normal. He had not the least 
idea that Barbara was near him, was almost 
touching him, till she snoke, 

"WiMWmichigan 



9° 



Barbara Gets Busy 



Shock tactics more often than not suc- 
ceed. If Avenell had had notice of that 
question, he might, he almost certainly 
would, have made a hash of his answer. But 
he had no time to think ; stumbling clumsily 
off his uncomfortable seat he turned to see 
Barbara before him, her right hand holding 
the folds of her kimono across her breast, 
her left extended towards him. 

There was only one possible answer in 
sight ; thought was beyond him. He took 
the extended hand, kissed it, maybe a little 
theatrically, certainly a trifle passionately, 
with lips that had known other delights. 

" I knew you wouldn't be able to sleep," 
6he said, and with that she was gone. 

Bed was a different haven to Avenell then ; 
bed, as he bathed in it, was all what it had 
never been. Reason knows not why, but 
Avenell, an ordinary chap, like Cupid knew 
no logic. He had forgiven and was so for- 
given. Give it up, argue if you like, but 
it's true. And just before sleep claimed 
him, '* Damn ! " cried Avenell, for a small 
piece of very solid evidence had forced 
itself on his mind. Barbara had known that 
it would. 

Men are mites in such matters. But even 
Avenell was bound, at some time or another, 
to realize that the hand that he had kissed, 
the left hand, was entirely unencumbered by 
a ring ! 

ONE of the arts a woman specializes in is 
that of not being seen when it is con- 
trary to her plans ; the missing link 
almost certainly was a female of the species. 
Consequently, neither speech, sight, nor mes- 
sage of Barbara did Avenell have until the 
first over — Owton's — had been bowled next 
morning, when Dean, the groundsman, 
shuffled on to the field and handed Avenell, 
carefully measuring his bowling run, a 
note. 

It was brief. *' Bowl him first ball, for my 
sake. Barbara/* Conscience had at last got 
to grips with Barbara Grant. 

And with a grin Avenell remembered 
what Grant had said the evening before : 
" Everybody does what Babs tells 'em to." 
Grant was going to prove himself a true 
prophet. 

The ball sang down the pitch, a bare inch 
beyond Grant's reach, whipped in a bit, 
kept low, and completely spoiled the mass 
formation of three very beautifully polished 
stumps, Avenell was quits with the world. 

Five had fallen for a hundred and eight 
as they came in to lunch. Downshire were 
very decidedly on top, but that wasn't the 
reason of Avenell's eager, delighted stride. 
He didn't care a terrible lot about lunch 
either ; bigger things were on hand. Three- 
quarters of an hour is not an eternity, but 



the fate of eternity was to be decided in that 
forty-five minutes. 

He found her, and took her away. Only 
twenty-one players (and two umpires ; oh, 
yes, umpires eat) sat down to lunch that 
morning in the pavilion. Avenell was the 
absentee, engaged on important business 
elsewhere. 

" I understand everything, " he was telling 
her. " Everything. Temptation, impulse, 
no time to think, your regret, everything. 
But why that wife business ? That was what 
worried me, and I can't understand the need 
for it." 

Barbara was very happy. " There are 
some little touches a man can't understand," 
she said. " If you — if you hadn't been the 
— the sportsman you are, it would have been 
a very pretty touch ; a very pretty touch 
indeed." 

" Honest to goodness, I can't think of the 
good of it." 

A little white ungloved hand gripped 
fingers stained by many a sun. 

" You wouldn't," said Barbara, gently, 
° you're too white. But just guess a bit. 
I was all fed up with being cheap, with kisses 
given for foolish gain. I didn't want any 
more — like that. I didn't want any more 
at all, unless you found out and forgave. 
And there was a long way^to go and a long 
way to come back, wasn't there ? Again, 
if you happened to be a fellow who — who 
gloats — well, it wasn't likely you'd tell the 
tale that you'd been led astray by Reggie 
Grant's wife, was it ? The laugh would have 
been on you when people said Reggie had no 
wife, wouldn't it ? But his sister 1 Flap- 
pers do, sometimes, that sort of thing ; 
they'd have believed the truth then, and I — 
I think Reggie would have flogged me ! 
When you've done something desperate you 
have to do something drastic, and " 

M And you did it ! " said Avenell. " It's 
just what I'm going to do now ! Fancy 
wasting all those glorious hours yesterday 
afternoon in the car ! " 

JUST before the tea interval the last 
Loamshire man tipped a catch into the 
slips, and Avenell had taken six for 
seventy-three. Reggie Grant came out to 
meet him, a telegram in his hand. 

" One for you, Avenell, old son," he 
exclaimed. " And there's one for me, too. 
We're both to play at Lord's next week. I 
thought you'd cooked my chance when you 
bowled me this morning, but ' not out, seven * 
last night must have convinced 'em I'm the 
devil of a bat. Congrats, old man, and 
you'll be the best man at Lord's." 

" And you at St. Philip's very shortly," 
said Avenell, with a grin. " Did Barbara 
.to .mention anything about it ? " 



hv wmi 



91 



WIRELESS 
UP-TO-DATE 



BY 



RWHallows 



We arc indebted to the Marconi Scientific Instrument Co, t Ltd H , for assistance in the preparation of this 

article and for the loan of the apparatus used. 



WHENEVER a craze for any par- 
ticular form of diversion seizes 
America, it does so pretty 
thoroughly. Wireless telephony 
has been the rage there for some time, and 
the whole country from end to end is filled 
with what they are pleased to call " radio 
fans" or "radio bugs," which expressions 
being interpreted signify enthusiastic owners 
or would-be owners of 
wireless receiving sets. 
We shall soon have 
them in this country, 
but let us hope with 
other names ! In the 
United States alone of 
all the lands of the 
world, wireless tele- 
phony has been given 
a chance to develop 
freely during the last 
four years. 

Naturally, although 
we are now making a 
beginning, they are 
still some way ahead 
of us, for they had a 
Jong start* There were, 
for example, no fewer 
than fifteen thousand 
licensed transmitting 
stations in the States 
before the restrictions 
in this country were 
relaxed ; and a regular 
system of concerts, 
news services, home 
talks for women, 
weather forecasts, and 
lectures of general 
interest had been in 
operation for some 
time. Settlers in the 
wilds keep in touch. The Radio Robert 




with all that is going on in the distant world 
of civilization by means of the wireless tele- 
phone ; farmers living far out on the plains 
know the exact price that wheat is fe telling 
in the markets ; the sick have the religious 
services of their own faith flashed through 
ether to their bedsides on Sundays ; busi- 
ness men away for holidays can maintain 
constant connection between themselves and 

their offices, if they 
wish to do so j and 
thousands of tired 
workers listen nightly 
to the splendid con* 
certs that are broad- 
casted from the great 
stations. 

Before we are many 
months older the wire- 
less telephone will be 
just as widely used in 
our own country. Our 
new broadcasting sta- 
tions are allowed to 
use considerably more 
than a horse- power 
for sending, which 
means that the sim- 
plest and cheapest re- 
ceiving sets can be 
used to catch their 
messages. Wireless 
telephony is now 
within the reach of 
everyone, for a per- 
fectly good set that 
will give excellent 
results at moderate 
ranges can be made 
for an outlay of a 
couple of pounds, or 
bought complete for 
about double that 
< slaeve-iece* 11 '""W 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



92 



Wireless Up-to-Date 




The wireless doctor hears from his dispensary. 



The pictures which illustrate this article 
are peeps into the near future. They are 
not mere freaks of the imagination : every 
one of the photographs shows a means of 
employing wireless telephony that is already 
not only possible, but in actual use in the 
United States. 

Look at the photograph of the lf wireless 
policeman " of the future. His aerial con- 
sists of wires concealed beneath his tunic ; 
the earth-wire runs down his leg to the iron- 
shod heel of his boot— and it must be ad- 
mitted that a policeman's boot makes ample 
contact with the ground ! Upon his sleeve 
is pinned a buzzer, which, actuated by 
the radio-receiving circuits, emits a singing 
note to attract his attention when he is 
wanted by headquarters. The rest of the 
apparatus is so small that it can be carried 
with ease either in his pockets or in a small 

giuch upon his belt. Fitted out in this way, 
obcrt will become even more useful than 
he has been in the past, for when his presence 
is required in any quarter he will be able to 
receive a message in a flash. If, for instance, 
there is an outbreak of rowdyism a hundred 
" Radio Roberts " can he told instantly 
just where to go, and their sturdy forms 
will appear from all sides in time to move 
en the offenders before they can do any 
serious damage. 

The J ' wireless doctor " is another feature 
of the new age. You will notice that the 
aerial consists of a wire running round the 
top of his car. As he is speeding along from 



one house to 
another, the 
receiver placed 
near his ear 
suddenly be- 
gins to talk* 
" Dr. Jones, 
Dr. Jones, Dr. 
J ones, ."it calls. 
There comes a 
short pause ; 
then r " Acci- 
dent in Bridge 
Road/' or 
4t Urgent case, 
Mr* Smith 
of 14, High 
Street." Such 
particulars as 
are known are 
given to the 
doctor, who 
makes his way 
without delay 
to the place 
where his aid 
is required. 
He may also 
send messages 



from time to time to his house to order the 
dispatch of medicines to urgent cases, or to 
the hospital to summon a nurse if her services 
are required without delay. Many a man 
and woman may owe their lives in future 
years to the saving of time effected by the 
doctor's wireless telephone. 

The wireless-fitted car will also be of the 
greatest use to the business man who is 
obliged to make journeys to outlying places. 
To-day he has always the haunting fear 
that in his absence some question of vital 
importance may arise which needs an 
immediate answer. With the wireless tele- 
phone installed in the car he need no longer 
be nervous, for should anything occur with 
which he alone can deal, his office can get 
into touch with him at once. 

Firemen, too, will find such a set invaluable 
upon the engine, for if on reaching the scene 
of the outbreak they find that further assist- 
ance is needed, a call can be sent in a tiny 
fraction of a second to the station. 

And what of the " wireless parson " — 
a sky-pilot indeed !— who is enabled by the 
radio set to send out his message to a 
scattered flock who would otherwise be 
unable to hear service and sermon ? Even 
in this thickly populated country there are 
great numbers of people who live so far 
from the church or chapel of their own 
denomination that it is impossible for them 
to attend except on rare occasions ; and 
there are invalids everywhere who miss 

Md| yu%El*^FTOW3Afp whkh th ey 



R, W, Hallows 



93 



cannot go. The wireless telephone brings 
to every one of them the service with its 
music, and the words of the sermon, which 
are heard as distinctly as if the preacher 
were only a few yards away. Services of 
this kind are conducted every week in 
America by the central organizations of the 
various Churches. Beautiful music is pro- 
vided and the best of preachers are selected. 
With us, the number of any popular clergy- 
man^ congregation is still limited by the 
size of his church, but in the new wireless 
age he will be able to preach to ten thousand 
people as easily as to a hundred, in fact 
more easily, for in speaking, on the wireless 
telephone the voice need not be raised beyond 
its ordinary conversational tone. Shoold he 
not possess a send- 
ing set of his own, 
connection by 
ordinary telephone 
to a broadcasting 
station could be 
made to serve the 
same purpose. 

So far we have 
considered chiefly 
those who will use 
transmitting sets, 
What will be the 
benefits conferred 
by wireless upon 
the ordinary 
household which 
has only a re- 
ceiving apparatus ? 
Look at the pic- 
ture of the kiddies 
clustered round the 
loud -sounding horn 
and you will see 
one of them. Every 
morning they read 
in the children's 
column of the 
paper about the 
doings of if Uncle 
Kill's " pets. In 
the evening when 
they are ready for 
bed Uncle Bill him- 
self talks to them, 
weaving delightful 
fairy tales or telling 
nonsense stories 
that keep them 
rocking with 
laughter. Then the 
pets are sure to 
join in with little 
messages. Just 
fancy what it will 
mean to hear the 
voices of the 



people of the children's corner ; and think of 
the thrills of a fairy story that comes through 
space from the lips of a speaker who is per- 
haps two hundred miles away ! Wher( Uncle 
Hill finally says " good night," they trot off 
blissfully happy to dream of all the wonderful 
things that he has told them. 

A form of wireless entertainment that 
appeals to the whole family is the concert 
which the waves will bring into every one's 
home. A good receiver gives out every note 
with perfect clearness and excellent tone, 
especially if the head telephones are used* 
The loud -speaking attachment, though ft 
answers wel.l.fqr orchestral pieces and will 
often give quite good results for instrumental 
solos, is still not capable of bringing out the 




W ireless Up-to-Date 




full beauty of the master-singer's 
golden notes. We are not de- 
pendent only upon our own 
broadcas t i n g stations for wireless 
music, for these who have sensitive sets can 
"listen-in " on the concerts which are trans- 
mitted regularly from The Hague, and from 
the great Eiffel Tower station at Paris. To 
anyone who is musical the wireless telephone 
will te an endless source of joy, since every 
evening will provide him a feast of glorious 
sound. Imagine the joys of " listening-in " 
to a Sunday afternoon concert from the 
seclusion of one's own garden. 

It will not be long before some enterprising 



hostess of the new age sends out dance cards 
on which appears the magic word " wireless." 
Here indeed is an idea for anyone who wishes 
to give an entertainment that is quite out of 
the ordinary, Arrangements are made with 
one of the area stations to transmit a suitable 
programme of dance music. As the guests 
arrive they notice the bright lights of a valve- 
set shining in one comer of the room. The 
host is engaged for a minute or two in making 
final tuning adjustments ; then suddenly 
he turns over a switch which brings the loud- 
sounding horn into action, and next moment 
couples are fox- trotting gaily to strains 
played by an orchestra miles away. Jazz, 




Utenin* in the garde* to tlffiFffoT^CHIGAN 



R. W. Hallows 



95 



two-step, and waltz follow each other at 
intervals, and at supper-time the horn, 
transported to the dining-room, gives jolly 
selections from one of Gilbert and Sullivan ^ 
operas, or from the latest musical comedy. 

These are merely a few of the: family uses 
of the wireless telephone receiver. It is an 
instrument which can he emptoyed in a 
thousand ways to interest and entertain the 
household. The broadcasted news service, 
for instance, as it develops will he to the 
home what the " tape " is to the club. 
Paterfamilias and the boys need no longer 
wonder impatiently how Surrey is faring 
against Yorkshire ; the fall of the wickets, 
changes in the bowling, and all other im- 
portant incidents of the match will be known 
to them as soon as they happen. The head 
of the house will never of course admit that 
he has little flutters on the racecourse, but if 
you watch his expression as the wireless 
1 phone announces the result of the St, I-eger 
you will find it easy to discover whether he 
has backed the winner or a loser. 

As soon as the newspapers begin to make 
as full use of wireless as they do in America 
materfamiJias and the girls will always be 
found near the receiver when " Fifi " or 
t£ Melisande ,J of the ladies' page is due to give 
one of her little talks on the fashions of the 



/ 



4 f 









The lady reporter's garter -receiver keeps her in (ouch 
with the office. 



Heanrvg the news in 
Trafalgar Square, 



day— and, if pos- 
sible, of the ufxt The ring that make* 
day! Then there dearth connection, 
will be chats on 

cookery and on housekeeping in 
general that will go straight to every 
woman's heart, 

The wireless set need not be con* 
fined to the comparatively large one 
that is fixed in the house. * We have 
already se£n how the policeman and 
the doctor can be fitted out with light 
portable sets, and these are by no 
means the only^ possibilities. A com- 
plete wireless receiving set has been 
made that fits into a ring. It is 



Wireless Up-to-Date 



actually five-eighths of an inch wide and less 
than half an inch thick — and its range is, 
of course, limited ; still, for short -distance 
work it is remarkably efficient. Other sets 
have been made in razor-boxes, fountain-pen 
cases, and match -boxes. The last is a very 
ingenious affair, tuning being effected by 
moving the inside of the box to and fro. 
One very neat little appliance looks just like 
a well -bound book. On each cover is 
mounted a " pancake " coil, and as their 
distance apart can be varied by opening the 
" book " more or less widely, very effective 
tuning is obtained* The detector — that is, 
the apparatus which filters out the unwanted 
portions of the ether waves — is contained in a 
little tube, resembling the case of a clinical 
thermometer, which fits into the binding. 
Perhaps the most wonderful of the small 
outfits is the valve set designed by an English 
expert which fits into a cigar -box. 

What would be handier than the little 
receiver adopted by one lady reporter ? The 
whole thing is in the form of a very smart 




The " bookie "- the wires of whose umbrella mate an excellent 
aerial— always knows the market. 



garter, Round a cardboard foundation is 
wound the wire that makes the coil, ard 
attached to the garter itself is one of these 
little spring eye-glass chains that automati- 
cally coil themselves back into their cases 
when released. This chain is attached, when 
the set is in use, to the sole of the lady's shoe ; 
whilst another wire, considerably longer, 
runs up to her hat, the frame of which makes 
an admirable aerial. The telephone receiver 
is carried in her vanity -bag and can be fixed 
on in a moment when it is wanted. By 
means of this little contrivance she is able to 
receive instructions from the news editor 
whilst she is reporting at some distance from 
the office. 

The man who is seen in Trafalgar Square, 
with a telephone receiver to his ear, is not 
touching the lamp -post to see whether the 
paint really is w r et. He is making an earth 
connection by means of a ring on his finger, 
to which is attached a wire that runs down 
to his attache-ease, which contains the re- 
ceiving apparatus. A light coil wound round 
his waist serves as the aerial. 

The " bookie " in the last photograph 
seems at first sight to be rather foolish in 
sheltering under an umbrella when it is not 
raining, But there is method in his apparent 
madness. The " gamp " is there to protect 
not his body but his pocket. The wires of 
its frame make an excellent aerial for the 
tiny detector set attached to 
his ring. A small tuning coil 
is carried in his sleeve. Being 
rather short-sighted, he finds 
it a little difficult to read the 
signals of the " tic-tac " 
men, and the wireless 
telephone provides him 
with a quicker and more 
reliable way of keeping 
pace with the fluctua- 
tions of the market* 

We have reached the 
wireless age at last in this 
country. It has taken us 
a considerable time to do 
so, but we have really 
lost nothing by that. 
Receiving sets to day are 
cheaper and much better 
designed than they were 
even two years a^u. <mh1 
the thousands of ama- 
teurs who are now taking 
up wireless all over the 
country will start far 
better equipped than 
%vould have been the 
case had the Govern* 
menfs restrictions been 
removed at an earlier 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



HOLIDAY FICTION NUMBER 







* I/rNi 









SPLENDID — 
LOVE STORY BY 

IN ^u :v f w\ * F P 




by LjOOSIC 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE 

STRAND 

MAGAZINE 




by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




POSSIBLY IT WAS ACCIDENTAL, BUT THE PUPPY SHE HAD PICKED UP, AND 

WHICH WAS NOW MAKING FRANTIC ENDEAVOURS TO LICK HER FACE, WAS 

OUT AND AWAY TEIE BEST OK THE LITTER* 



by t^ 



jk 



(See page 100,) 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



99 



LADY CYNTHIA 
AND THE HERMIT. 






M 



Y dear Cyn- 
thia, you 
haven't 



? 



seen our 
Hermit yet. He's - 
quite the show exhibit of 
the place," 

Lady Cynthia Stockdale 
yawned and lit a cigarette. 
He rmits belonged un- 
doubted! v to the class of things in which 
she was not interested ; the word conjured 
up a mental picture of a dirty individual of 
great piety, clothed in a sack, And Lady 
Cynthia loathed dirt and detested piety. 

V A hermit, Ada I " she remarked, lastly. 
" I thought the brand was extinct. Does 
he feed ravens and things ? " 
. It is to be regretted that theological 
knowledge was not her strong point, but 
Ada Laverton, her hostess, did not smile. 
From beneath some marvellously long 
eyelashes she was watching the lovely girl 
lying back in the deck-chair opposite, who 
was vainly trying to blow smoke rings- A 
sudden wild idea had come into her brain — 
so wild as to be almost laughable- But 
from time immemorial wild ideas anent 
their girl friends have entered the brains 
of young married women, especially the 
lucky ones who have hooked the right man. 
And Ada Laverton had undoubtedly done 
that. She alternately bullied, cajoled, and 
made love to her husband John, in a way 
that eminently suited that cheerful and easy- 
going gentleman. He adored her quite 
openly and ridiculously, and she returned 
the compliment just as ridiculously, even if 
not quite so openly, 

Moreover, Cynthia Stockdale was her best 
friend. Before her marriage they had been 
inseparable, and perhaps there was no one 
living who understood Cynthia as she did. 
To the world at large Cynthia was merely a 
much photographed and capricious beauty. 
Worthy mothers of daughters, who saw T her 
reproduced weeWy in the society papers, 

VoL lxLv*-7. Copyright, 1923 

Digitized by ^lOOSIt 



H.CMcNEILE 

(SAPPER") 



WM:\fcE&STEFL 



sighed inwardly with 
envy, and com- 
mented on the de- 
cadence of the aris- 
t o c r a c y ; t li e 
daughters tore out 
the pictures in a vain 
endeavour to copy her 
frocks. But it wasn't the 
frocks that made Cynthia 
Stockdale : it was she 
who made the frocks. Put her in things 
selected haphazard from a jumble sale — put 
her in remnants discarded by the people 
who got it up, and she would j still have 
seemed the best -dressed woman in the 
room. It was a gift she had — not acquired, 
but natural. 

Lady Cynthia was twenty-five, and looked 
four years younger. Since the war she had 
been engaged twice — once to a man in the 
Blues, and once to a young and ambitious 
member of Parliament, Neither had lasted 
long, and on the second occasion people had 
said unkind things. They had called her 
heartless and capricious, and she had scorned 
to contradict them. It mattered nothing to 
her what people said: if they didn't like 
her they could go away and have nothing 
- to do with her. And since in her case it 
wasn't a pose, but the literal truth, people 
did not go away, Only to Ada Laverton 
did she give her real confidence : only to 
Ada Laverton did she show the real soul that 
lay below the surface* 

'; Tm trying," she had said, lying in that 
same chair a year previously, M I'm trying 
to find the real thing, I needn't marry if i 
don't want to ; I haven't got to marry for 
a home and a roof. And it's got to be the 
right man. Of course I may make a mistake 
— a mistake which I sha h n J t find out till it's 
too late. But surely when one has found it 
out before it's too late, it's better to acknow- 
ledge it at once. It's no good making a 
second worse one by going through with it 
I thought Arthur was all right " — Arthur 
was the member of Parliament — " I'm 
by h. c. MrNdieQriginal from 

UNIVERSITYGF MICHIGAN 



IOO 



Lady Cynthia and the Hermit 



awfully fond of Arthur still. But I'm not 
the right wife for him. We jarred on one 
another in a hundred little ways. And he 
hasn't got a sense of humour. I shall never 
forget the shock I got when I first realized 
that. He seemed to think that a sense of 
humour consisted of laughing at humorous 
things, of seeing a jest as well as anyone 
else. He didn't seem to understand me 
when I told him that the real sense of humour 
is often closer to tears than laughter. 
Besides " — she had added inconsequently — 
" he had a dreadful trick of whistling down 
my neck when we danced. No woman can 
be expected to marry a permanent draught. 
And as for poor old Bill — well, Bill's an 
angel. I still adore Bill. He is, I think, 
the most supremely handsome being I've 
ever seen in my life — especially when he's 
got his full dress on. But, my dear, I blame 
myself over Bill. I ought to have known 
it before I got engaged to him ; as a matter 
of fact I did know it. Bill is, . without 
exception, the biggest fool in London. I 
thought his face might atone for his lack 
of brains ; I thought that perhaps if I took 
him in hand he might do something in the 
House of Lords — his old father can't live 
much longer — but I gave it up. He is 
simply incapable of any coherent thought 
at all. He can't spell ; he can't add, and 
once when I asked him if he liked Rach- 
maninoff, he thought it was the man who 
had built the Pyramids." 

This and much more came back to Ada 
Laverton as she turned over in her mind 
the sudden wild idea that had come to her. 
Above all things she wanted to see Cynthia 
married ; she was so utterly happy herself 
that she longed for her friend to share it 
too. She knew, as no one else did, what a 
wonderful wife and pal Cynthia would make 
to the right man. But it must be the right 
man ; it must be the real thing. And like 
a blinding flash had come the thought of 
the Hermit — the Hermit who had come into 
the neighbourhood six months previously, 
and taken the little farm standing in the 
hollow overlooking the sea. For, as she 
frequently told John, if it hadn't been for 
the fact that she was tied to a silly old 
idiot of a husband, she'd have married the 
Hermit herself. 

" No, he doesn't feed ravens," she 
remarked at length. " Only puppies. He 
breeds Cairns and Aberdeens. We'll stroll 
up and see him after tea." 

" A hermit breeding dogs ! " Cynthia 
sat up lazily. " My dear, you intrigue 
me. 

" Oh ! he's not a bad young man," said 
Ada Laverton, indifferently. " Quite pass- 
able looking, D.S.O. and M.C. and that 
sort of thine. Been all over the world, and 
: 



is really quite interesting when you can 
get him to talk." 

" What sort of age ? " asked her friend. 

" Thirty to thirty-five. You shall see 
him. But you're not to go and turn his 
head ; he's very peaceful and happy as he 
is." 

Lady Cynthia smiled. 

" I don't think hermits are much in my 
line. A man's jotx is to be up and doing ; 
not to bury himself alive and breed dogs." 

" You tell him so," said her hostess. 
" It will do him good." 

II. 

AN excited rush of puppies — fat, bouncing, 
L lolloping puppies ; a stern order : 
" Heel, you young blighters, heel ! " 
in a pleasant, cheerful voice ; a laughing 
greeting from Ada Laverton, and Lady 
Cynthia Stockdale found herself shaking 
hands with the Hermit. She shook hands 
as a man shakes hands, with a firm, 
steady grasp, and she looked the person 
she was greeting straight in the eyes. To 
her that first hand-shake meant, more 
often than not, the final estimate of a 
stranger's character ; it always meant the 
first. And her first estimate of Desmond 
Brooke was good. She saw a man of clear 
skin and clear eye. He wore no hat, and 
his brown hair, curling a little at the temples, 
was slightly flecked with grey. His face 
was bronzed, and a faint smile hovered in 
the corners of the eyes that met hers fair 
and square. His shirt was open at the 
neck ; the sleeves were rolled up, showing a 
pair of muscular brown arms. He was 
clean shaven, and his teeth were very white 
and regular. So much, in detail, she 
noticed during that first half second ; 
then she turned her attention to the puppies. 

" What toppers," she remarked. " What 
absolute toppers." 

She picked a fat, struggling mixture of 
legs and ecstatically slobbering tongue out 
of the melee at her feet, and the Hermit 
watched her gravely. It struck him that in 
the course of a fairly crowded life he had 
never seen a more lovely picture than the 
one made by this tall slender girl with the 
wriggling puppy in her arms. And another 
thing struck him also, though he said nothing. 
Possibly it was accidental, but the puppy 
she had picked up, and which was now 
making frantic endeavours to lick her face, 
was out and away the best of the litter. 
Almost angrily he told himself that it was 
an accident, and yet he could not quite 
banish the thought that it was an accident 
which would happen every time. Thorough- 
bred picks thoroughbred ; instinctively the 
girl would pick the best. His mouth set a 
little, giving him a look of sternness, and 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



H. C. McNeile (" Sapper ") 



tot 



at that moment their eyes met over the 
puppy's head. 

" Is he for sale ? " asked the girl. 

Undoubtedly he was for sale ; Desmond 
Brooke, though he was in no need of money, 
did not believe in running anything save on 
business lines. But now something that 
he did not stop to analyse made him hesitate. 
He felt a sudden inconsequent distaste 
against selling the puppy to her. 

" You've picked the best, I see," he said 
quietly. 

" Of course," she answered, with the 
faintest trace of hauteur. Insensibly she 
felt that this man was hostile to her. 

" I am afraid that that one is not for 
sale," he continued. " You can have any 
of the others if you like." 

Abruptly she restored the puppy to its 
mother. 

" Having chosen the best, Mr. Brooke," 
she said, looking him straight in the face, 
" I don't care about taking anything 
second-rate." 

For a second or two they stared at one 
another. Ada Laverton had wandered away 
and was talking shop to the gardener ; the 
Hermit and Lady Cynthia were alone. 

" You surprise me," said the Hermit, 
calmly. 

" That is gratuitously rude," answered the 
girl quietly. " It is also extremely imper- 
tinent. And lastly it shows that you are a 
very bad judge of character." 

The man bowed. 

" I sincerely hope that your * lastly ' is 
true. Am I to understand, then, that 
you do not care to buy one of the other 
puppies ? " 

And suddenly the girl laughed half- 
angrily. 

" What do you mean by daring to say 
such a thing to me ? Why, you haven't 
known me for more than two minutes." 

" That is not strictly true, Lady Cynthia. 
Anyone who is capable of reading and takes 
in the illustrated papers can claim your 
acquaintance weekly." 

" I see," she answered. " You disap- 
prove of my poor features being repro- 
duced." 

" Personally not at all," he replied. " I 
know enough of the world, and am suffi- 
ciently broadminded, I trust, to realize how 
completely unimportant the matter is. 
Lady Cynthia Stockdale at Ascot, at Good- 
wood, in her motor car, out of her motor 
car, by the fire, by the gas stove, in her 
boudoir, out of her boudoir, in the garden, 
not in the garden — and always in a different 
frock every time. It doesn't matter to me, 
but there are some people who haven't got 
enough money to pay for a doctor's bill 
when their wives are dying. And it's such 

Digitiz 



a comfort to them to see you by the fire. 
To know that half the money you paid for 
your frock would save the life of the woman 
they love." 

" You're talking like a ranting tub- 
thumper," she cried, furiously. " How dare 
you say such things to me ? And, anyway, 
does breeding dogs in the wilderness help 
them with their doctors' bills ? " 

" TouchS," said the man, with a faint 
smile. " Perhaps I haven't expressed myself 
very clearly. You can't pay the bills, Lady 
Cynthia — 1 can't. There are too many 
thousands to pay. But it's the bitter 
contrast that hits them, and it's all so petty." 
For a while he paused, seeming to seek for 
his words. " Come with me, Lady Cynthia, 
and I'll show you something." 

A LMOST violently he swung round on his 
/-\ heel and strode off towards the house. 
For a moment she hesitated, then she 
followed him slowly. Anger and indigna- 
tion were seething in her mind ; the 
monstrous impertinence of this complete 
stranger was almost bewildering. She found 
him standing in his smoking-room unlocking 
a drawer in a big writing-desk. 

" Well," she said uncompromisingly from 
the doorway. 

" I have something to show you," he 
remarked quietly. " But before I show it 
to you, I want to tell you a very short story. 
Three years ago I was in the back of beyond 
in Brazil. I'd got a bad dose of fever, and 
the gassing I got in France wasn't helping 
matters. It was touch and go whether I 
pulled through or not. And one day one of 
the fellows got a two-month-old Tatler. 
In that Tatler was a picture — a picture of the 
loveliest girl I have ever seen. I tore it 
out, and I propped it up at the foot of my 
bed. I think I worshipped it ; I certainly 
fell in love with it. There is the picture." 

He handed it to her, and she looked at 
it in silence. It was of herself, and after a 
moment or two she raised her eyes to his. 

" Go on," she said gently. 

" A few months ago I came back to 
England. I found a seething cauldron of 
discontent ; men out of work — strikes — 
talk of 'revolution. And this was the country 
for which a million of our best had died. I 
also found — week after week — my picture 
girl displayed in every paper, as if no such 
thing as trouble existed. She, 'in her njotor 
car, cared for none of these things." 

" That is unjust," said the girl, and her 
voice was low. 

" I knew it was unjust," answered the 
man, " but I couldn't help it. And if I 
couldn't help it — I who loved her — what of 
these others ? It seemed symbolical to 
me." 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



IC2 



Lady Cynthia and the Hermit 



" Nero fiddling/' said the girl, with a 
faint smile. " You're rather a strange 
person, Mr. Brooke. Am I to understand 
that you're in love with me?" 

" You are not. I'm in love with the you 
of that picture." 

44 I see. You have set up an image. And 
supposing that image is a true one." 

" Need we discuss that ? " said the man, 
with faint sarcasm. 

The girl shrugged her shoulders. 

44 The supposition is at least as possible 
as that you are doing any vast amount of 
good for the seething cauldron of discontent, 
I think you called it, by breeding Aberdeens 
in the country. I'm afraid you're a crank, 
Mr. Brooke, and not a very consistent one 
at that. And a crank is to my mind 
synonymous with a bore." 

The man replaced the picture in his desk. 

11 Then perhaps we had better join Mrs. 
Laverton," he remarked. "I apologize" for 
having wearied you." 

In silence they went out into the garden, 
to find Ada Laverton wandering aimlessly 
round looking for them. 

" Where have you two been ? " she de- 
manded, as she saw them approaching. 

" Mr. Brooke has been showing me a relic 
of his past," said Lady Cynthia. " Most 
interesting and touching. Are you ready 
to go, Ada ? " 

Mrs. Laverton gave a quick glance at 
their two faces, and wondered what had hap- 
pened. Not much, surely, in so short a 
time — and yet with Cynthia you never 
could tell. The Hermit's face, usually so 
inscrutable, showed traces of suppressed 
feeling ; Cynthia's was rather too expression- 
less. 

44 Are you coming to the ball to-morrow 
night, Hermit ? " she asked. 

44 I didn't know there was one on, Mrs. 
Laverton," he answered. 

44 The Cricket Ball, my good man," she 
exclaimed. 44 It's been advertised for the 
last month." 

44 But surely Mr. Brooke doesn't counten- 
ance anything so frivolous as dancing ? " 
remarked Lady Cynthia. 4< After the lecture 
he has just given me on my personal deport- 
ment the idea is out of the question." 

44 Nevertheless I propose to come, Lady 
Cynthia," said Brooke quietly. 4< You must 
forgive me if I have allowed my feelings to 
run away with me to-day. And perhaps 
to-morrow you will allow me to find out 
if the new image is correct — or a pose also." 

44 What do you mean ? " asked the girl, 
puzzled. 

44 Lady Cynthia Stockdale — possibly the 
best dancer in London," he quoted mockingly; 
44 I forget which of the many papers I saw 
* it in." 

: 



" Do you propose to pass judgment on my 
dancing ? " she asked. 

44 If you will be good enough to give me 
a dance." 

For a moment words failed her. The cool, 
the sublime impertinence of this man 
literally choked her. Then she nodded 
briefly. 

44 I'll give you a dance if you're there in 
time. And then you can test for yourself, 
if you're capable of testing." 

He bowed without a word, and stood 
watching them as they walked down the 
lane. 

44 I think, Ada, that he's the most de- 
testable man I've ever met," remarked 
Lady Cynthia furiously, as they turned into 
the main road. 

And Ada Laverton said nothing, but 
wondered the more. 

III. 

SHE saw him as soon as she got into the 
ball-room. It was the last day but one 
of the local cricket week, and the room 
was crowded. A large number of the men she 
knew — men she had danced with in London 
who had come down to play — and within 
half a minute she was surrounded. It was 
a chance of getting a dance with her which 
was not to be missed; in London she 
generally danced with one or at the most two 
men for the whole evening: — men who were 
absolutely perfect performers. For dancing 
was a part of Lady Cynthia's life — and 
a big part. 

The humour of the situation had struck 
her that day. For this dog-breeding crank 
to presume to judge her powers of dancing 
seemed too sublimely funny for annoyance. 
But he deserved to be taught a very con- 
siderable lesson. And she proposed to teach 
him. After that she proposed to dismiss 
him completely from her mind. 

She gave him a cool nod as he came up, 
and frowned slightly as she noticed the faint 
glint of laughter in his eyes. Really Mr. 
Desmond Brooke was a little above himself. 
So much the worse for him. 

44 I don't know whether you'll find one or 
not," she remarked carelessly, handing him 
her programme. 

He glanced at it without a word, and 
quietly erased someone's name. 

44 I've made special arrangements with the 
band for Number 9, Lady Cynthia," he 
remarked coolly. 44 A lot of people will be 
in at supper then, so we ought to have the 
floor more to ourselves," 

The next instant he had bowed and 
disappeared, leaving her staring speechlessly 
at her programme. 

44 A breezy customer," murmured a man 

beside h er Ori'n}X&Vfi*&rft e ^ " 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



H. C. McNeile ("Sapper") 



103 




,.'-V>r 



'' This is mine, old thing," spluttered Tubby. " Number Nine/' 

** 1 think not," said the Hermit, quietly. ** 1 fixed Number NW specially with Lady 
Cynthia ycteiday." UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



104 



Lady Cynthia and the Hermit 



" A gentleman who is going to have the 
biggest lesson of his life," she answered 
ominously, and the man laughed. He knew 
Lady Cynthia— and he knew Lady Cynthia's 
temper when it was roused. But for once 
he was wrong in his diagnosis ; the out- 
ward and visible signs were there all right — 
the inward and mental state of affairs in 
keeping with them was not. For the first 
time in her life Lady Cynthia felt at a loss. 
Her partners found her distraite and silent ; 
as a matter of fact she was barely conscious 
of their existence. And the more she lashed 
at herself mentally, the more confused did 
she get. 

IT was preposterous, impossible. Why 
should she cut Tubby Dawlish to dance 
with a crank who kept dogs ? A crank, 
moreover, who openly avowed that his 
object was to see if she could dance. Every 
now and then she saw him lounging by the 
door watching her. She knew he was 
watching her, though she gave no sign of 
being aware of his existence. And all the 
while Number 9 grew inexorably nearer. 

Dance indeed ! She would show him how 
she could dance. And as a result she fell 
into the deadly fault of trying. No perfect 
dancer ever tries to dance ; they just dance. 
And Lady Cynthia knew that better than 
most people. Which made her fury still rise 
more against the man standing just outside 
the door smoking a cigarette. A thousand 
times — no ; she would not cut Tubby. 

And then she realized that people were 
moving into supper ; that the 8 was being 
taken down from the band platform — that 
9 was being put up. And she realized that 
Desmond Brooke the Hermit was crossing 
the room towards her ; was standing by her 
side while Tubby — like an outraged terrier — 
was glaring at him across her. 

" This is mine, old thing," spluttered 
Tubby. " Number 9." 

" I think not," said the Hermit quietly. 
" I fixed Number 9 specially with Lady 
Cynthia yesterday." 

She hesitated — and was lost. 

"I'm sorry, Tubby," she said a little 
weakly. " I forgot." 

Not a trace of triumph showed on the 
Hermit's face, as he gravely watched the 
indignant back of his rival retreating 
towards the door : not a trace of expression 
showed on his face as he turned to the girl. 

" You've been trying to-night, Lady 
Cynthia," he said gravely. " Please don't 
— this time. It's a wonderful tune this — 
half waltz, half tango. It was lucky finding 
Lopez conducting : he has played for me 
before. And I want you just to forget 
everything except the smell of the passion 
flowers coming in through the open windows, 



and the thrumming of the guitars played by 
the natives under the palm-trees." His eyes 
were looking into hers, and suddenly she 
drew a deep breath. Things had got beyond 
her. 

It was marked as a fox-trot on the pro- 
gramme, and several of the more enthusiastic 
performers were waiting to get off on the 
stroke of time. But as the first haunting 
notes of the dance wailed out — they paused 
and hesitated. This was no fox-trot ; this 
was — but what matter what it was ? For 
after the first bar no one moved in the 
room : they stood motionless watching one 
couple — Lady Cynthia Stockdale and an 
unknown man. 

" Why, it's the fellow who breeds dogs," 
muttered someone to his partner, but there 
was no reply. She was too engrossed in 
watching. 

And as for Lady Cynthia, from the 
moment she felt Desmond Brooke's arm 
round her, the world had become merely 
movement — such movement as she had 
never thought of before. To say that he was 
a perfect dancer would be idle : he was 
dancing itself. And the band, playing as 
men possessed, played for them and them 
only. Everything was forgotten : nothing 
in the world mattered save that they should 
go on and on and on — dancing. She was 
utterly unconscious of the crowd of on- 
lookers : she didn^t know that people had 
left the supper-room and were thronging in 
at the door : she knew nothing save that 
she had never danced before. Dimly she 
realized at last that the music had stopped : 
dimly she heard a great roar of applause — 
but only dimly. It seemed to come from far 
away — the shouts of " Encore " seemed hazy 
and dream-like. They had left the ballroom, 
though she was hardly conscious of where he 
was taking her, and when he turned to her 
and said, *' Get a wrap or something : I 
want to talk to you out in God's fresh air," 
she obeyed him without a word. He was 
waiting for her when she returned, standing 
motionless where she had left him. And 
still in silence he led the way to his car 
which had been left apart from all the others, 
almost as if he had expected to want it 
before the end. For a moment she hesitated, 
for Lady Cynthia, though utterly uncon- 
ventional, was no fool. 

" Will you come with me ? " he said 
gravely. 

" Where to ? " she asked. 

" Up to the cliffs beyond my house. It 
will take ten minutes — and I want to talk 
to you with the sound of the sea below 
us." 

" You had the car in readiness ? " she 
said quietly. 

" For botb)r<KflilQa4-lOT|-for me alone," he 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



H. C. McNeile (" Sapper ") 



™5 



answered. " If you won't come, then I go 
home. Will you come with me ? " he 
repeated, 

" Yes ; I will come." 

He helped her into the car and wrapped 
a rug round her ; then he climbed in beside 
her. And as they swung out of the little 
square, the strains of the next dance 
followed them from the open windows of 
the Town Hall. 

HE drove as he danced — perfectly ; and 
in the dim light the girl watched his 
clear-cut profile as he stared ahead 
into the glare of the head-lights. Away to 
the right his farm flashed by, the last house 
before they reached the top of the cliffs. 
And gradually, above the thrumming of the 
engine, she heard the lazy boom of the 
big Atlantic swell on the rocks ahead. At 
last he stopped where the road ran parallel 
to the top of the cliff, and switched off the 
lights. 

" Well," she said, a little mockingly, 
" is the new image correct or a pose ? " 

" You dance divinely," he answered 
gravely. " More divinely than any woman 
I have ever danced with, and I have danced 
with those who are reputed to be the show 
dancers of the world. But I didn't ask 
you to come here to talk about dancing ; 
I asked you to come here in order that I 
might first apologize, and then say Good- 
bye." 

The girl gave a little start, but said 
nothing. 

" I talked a good dead of rot to you 
yesterday," he went on, after a moment. 
" You were justified in calling me a ranting 
tub-thumper. But I was angry with 
myself, and when one is angry with oneself 
one does foolish things. I know as well as 
you do just how little society photographs 
mean : that was only a peg to hang my 
inexcusable tirade on. You see, when one 
has fallen in love with an ideal — as I fell 
in love with that picture of you, all in white 
in the garden at your father's place — and 
you treasure that ideal for three years, it 
jolts one to find that the ideal is different 
to what you thought. I fell in love with a 
girl in white, and sometimes in the wilds 
I've seen visions and dreamed dreams. And 
then I found her a lovely being in Paquin's 
most expensive frocks ; a social celebrity : 
a household name. And then I met her, and 
knew my girl in white had gone. What 
matter that it was the inexorable rule of 
Nature that she must go : what matter 
that she had changed into an incredibly 
lovely woman ? She had gone : my dream 
girl had vanished. In her place stood Lady 
Cynthia Stockdale — the well-known society 
beauty. Reality had come — and I was angry 

Digitized by dOOQ IC 



with you for having killed my dream — angry 
with myself for having to wake up. 

" Such is my apology," he continued 
gravely. " Perhaps you will understand : 
I think you will understand. And just 
because I was angry with you, I made you 
dance with me to-night. I said to myself : 
' I will show Lady Cynthia Stockdale that 
the man who loved the girl in white can meet 
her successor on her own ground.' That's 
the idea I started with, but things went 
wrong halfway through the dance. The 
anger died ; in its place there came some- 
thing else. Even my love for the girl in 
white seemed to become a bit hazy ; I 
found that the successor had supplanted her 
more completely than I realized. And since 
the successor has the world at her feet — 
why, the breeder of dogs will efface himself, 
for his own peace of mind. So, good-bye, 
Lady Cynthia — and the' very best of luck. 
If it won't bore you I may say that I'm not 
really a breeder of dogs by profession. This 
is just an interlude ; a bit of rest spent with 
the most wonderful pals in the world. I'm 
getting back to harness soon : voluntary 
harness, I'm glad to say, as the shekels 
don't matter. But anything one can do 
towards greasing the wheels, and helping 
those priceless fellows who gave everything 
without a murmur during the war, and 
who are up against it now — is worth 
doing." 

And still she said nothing, while he backed 
the car on to the grass beside the road, and 
turned it the way they had come. A 
jumble of strange thoughts were in her 
mind ; a jumble out of which there stuck 
one dominant thing — the brown tanned face 
of the man beside her. And when he 
stopped the car by his own farm and left 
her with a word of apology, she sat quite 
motionless staring at the white streak of 
road in front. At last she heard his footsteps 
coming back along the drive, and suddenly a 
warm wriggling bundle was placed in her 
lap — a bundle which slobbered joyfully and 
then fell on the floor with an indignant 
yelp. 

11 The puppy," he said quietly. " Please 
take him." And very softly under his 
breath he added : " The best to the best." 

But she heard him, and even as she 
stooped to lift the puppy on to her knees, 
her heart began to beat madly. She knew : 
at last, she knew. 

" I'll take you back to the dance," he 
was saying, " and afterwards I'll deposit 
that young rascal at Mrs. Laverton's house." 

And then for the first time she spoke. 

" Please go to Ada's house first. After- 
wards we'll see about the dance." 

He bowed and swung the car left-handed 
through the lodge-gates. 



_■ I P_| I n :i I I I ■-_■ III 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



iq6 



Lady Cynthia and the Hermit 




A warm, wriggling bundle was placed in her lap. " Please take him/ 1 he said, quietly. 
And very softly under his breath he ad^,.^^^^^^" 



H. C. McNeile (" Sapper ") 



107 



" Will you wait for me ? " she said, as 
he pulled up at the front door. 

" As long as you like," he answered 
courteously. 

" Because I may be some time," she 
continued a little unevenly. " And don't 
wait for me here : wait for me where the 
drive runs through that little copse, half 
way down to the lodge." 

The next instant she had disappeared 
into the house, with the puppy in her arms. 
Why by the little copse, wondered the man 
as he slowly drove the car down the drive ? 
The butler had seen them already, so what 
did it matter ? He pulled up the car in the^ 
shadow of a big oak tree, and lit a cigarette. 
Then, with his arms resting on the steering 
wheel, he sat staring in front of him. He 
had done a mad thing, and she'd i&ken it 
wonderfully well. He always had done 
mad thiiigs all his life ; : he was made that 
way. But this was the maddest he had ever 
done. With a grim smile he pictured her 
infuriated partners, waiting in serried rows 
by the door, cursing him by all their gods. 
And then the smile faded , and he sighed, 
while his knuckles gleamed white on the 
wheel. If only she wasn't so gloriously 
pretty ; if only she wasn't so utterly alive 
and wonderful. Well — it was the penalty 



of playing with fire ; and it had been worth 
it. Yes ; it had been worth it — even if the 
wound never quite healed. 

" A fool there was, and he made his 
prayer, ..." 

He pitched his cigarette away, and 
suddenly he stiffened and sat motionless, 
Avhile something seemed to rise in his throat 
and choke him, and the blood hammered 
hotly at his temples. A girl in white was 
standing not five feet from him on the 
fringe, of the little wood: a girl holding a 
puppy in her arms. And then he heard her 
speaking. 

" It's not the same -frock — but it's the 
nearest I can do." 

She came up to the car, and once again over 
the head of the puppy their eyes met. , 

"I've been looking," she .said steadily, 
" for the real thing. I don't think I've 
found it — I know I have." ** 

"My dear!", he stammered hoarsely. 
" OhK my dear dream girl." 

" Take me back to the cliff, Desmond," 
she whispered. " Take me back to our 
cliff." .* 

And an outraged puppy, bouncing off 
the running-board on to a stray fir-cone, 
viewed the proceedings of the next five 
minutes with silent displeasure. 



ACROSTICS. 



I 



Our twenty-first series of acrostics begins with No. 109, 
printed below, and will run for four months. Prizes to 
the value of twelve guineas will be awarded to the most 
successful solvers. _ 

DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. 100. 

Leaving town and work behind, 
Leaving care of every kind, 
Simple joys in life we prize-^- 
Cloudless days and sunny skies. 

1. Red was suit of thievish knave. 

2. Greater part of Gallic grave. 

3. Classic tongue, of bygone time. 

4. Cornish saint, in riddling rhyme. 

5. Mild expletive, mostly tree. . 

6. Elsewhere — oft a useful plea. 
.7. Money, turn a marshal round. 

8. .Scottish isle with heavenly sound. 

PAX. 

Answers to Acrostic No, 109 should be addressed to the 
Acrostic Editor, The Strand Magazine. Southampton 
Street, Strand, London, W.C.2, and must arrive not later 
than by the first post on August l\)th. They must be written 
on half -sheets of nolepaper, or on cards ; at the foot of the 
solution must appear the solver's pseudonym, and (except in 
the cise of postcards) nothing else. Flimsy paper should 
not be used. 

One alternative answer may be sent to tach light. 

Answer to Double AcROSTttj No. 108. 

DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. 108. 
In either, or in neither, of two lands, 
On railway, river, and the sea it stands. 

Digitized by V^OOQ IC 



1. Look down below the level of your feet 
To find the complement of Water Street. 

2. Professionally one is treated here. 

And same will, rightly rearranged, appear. 

3. Let gage appear of other hue than green. 
Fair ladies closely linked there may be seen. 

4. Easy it ought to be to find the place ; 
You ought to turn it up, if such the case. 

5. What sounds as though 'twere meant in very deed ? 
A shorter synonym we here should read. 

6. Honey and milk, no doubt, he used to take ; 
Tea in a can would not be hard to make. 

7. These may suggest it : Ferry, heather, rocks, 
Covenant, silver button, uncle, fox. 



PAX. 



1. 


B 


a ke r lo 


2. 


E 


a d s m a 


3. 


R 


edgauntle 


4. 


W 


i c kl 


5. 


1 


n s an 


6. 


C 


a n a a n i t 


7. 


K 


i d na p pe 



o 

N 
T 
W 
E 
E 
D 



Notes.— Light 1. Baker Street and Waterloo. 
2. Headsman, beheaded. Anagram, and same. 3. Gage, 
gauntlet. Fairladies, the house in Scott's novel. 4. Torn 
up the wick, if low. 5. De-ment-ed : the central syllable, 
sounding as though 'twere the word " meant," inside the 
word * 4 deed." 6. Canaan, the land flowing with milk 
and honey. Anagram, tea in a can. 7. Stevenson's novel. 

The fourth light of No. 106 can be read in more than one 
way, and " Nook " must be admitted as correct, with any 

spelling variation. 

■_■ 1 1 '_| 1 1 1 '.i 1 1 1'.MM 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



io8 



/ HOW TO MAKE \ 
k THE BEST OF LIFE ; 

£ 

Arnold Bennett 

IV.-STARTING IN LIFE. 



SERVICES v. SALARY. 

NEARLY all young people who go 
into the world in order to exchange 
their talents for a livelihood begin 
as employ is. And most of them 
remain employes to the end of their working 
days. That is to say, the great majority of 
us are dependent upon the approval and the 
goodwill of somebody else for the safety of 
our existence in that dangerous and shifting 
piece of human mechanism which we call 
society. Commonly the inexperienced youth 
(in which word, as usual, I include both 
young men and young women) enters 
employment with the. excellent intention of 
doing his best — of giving himself generously 
in return for his fixed wages. And the first 
thing he commonly discovers is that his 
feUow-employSs are not doing their best. 
He perceives, or his companions sharply 
bring to his attention, that the spirit of the 
place is against generosity in the matter of 
services. The theory is that since the 
employer is " out " to give as little as pos- 
sible, the proper course for the employes is to 
give as little as possible. The employer pays 
a certain calculable sum, while expecting an 
equivalent in services which are not calcu- 
lable, which are elastic, and which the 
employer will assuredly stretch as far as he 
can. The affair develops into a sort of 
double conspiracy, the employer and the 
employes plotting against each other. 

" Why on earth," the employes demand, 
" should we do more than we need do, when 
the result is solely to enrich the employer ? 

Copyright, 1932, by 



If we really put our backs into the business, 
will the employer at the end of the week 
put his back into the business of suitably 
rewarding us ? He, will not. He will pay 
us exactly the same amount as if we had not 
tired our backs. He may smile his thanks, 
or even murmur some praise, but smiles and 
praise will purchase neither cigarettes nor 
silk stockings. Therefore " etc., etc. 

There is a sort of rough justice in the argu- 
ment, and the beginner usually accepts it at 
its face value and acts accordingly. Never- 
theless, the policy is a mistake from the 
employs' s point of view. True, the employs 
who does his best will, in the case of nineteen 
employSs out of twenty, give more than he 
receives, and to other employSs he will have 
the air of a philanthropist. But he will not 
continue for very long to give more than he 
receives ; for he will either receive pro- 
motion in the place where he is, or he will 
find a better situation in some other place. 
The rumour of a good active employs soon 
spreads abroad, the reason being that good, 
active employSs are very rare. 

Yes, they are very rare indeed, and the 
secret preoccupation of every employer is to 
find them and stick to them. Such an 
employe, in a period of trade crisis, will be 
retained after many others have been 
politely thrown into the street. Such an 
employs has a powerful weapon against an 
employer in that he is terribly difficult to 
replace. He may have faults — he may be 
dull, stupid, slow, bad-tempered, churlish — 
but his willingness to work, his readiness not 
to dole out kis energy but to lavish his 
Arnold I4W&G&SI TY ( 



Arnold Bennett 



109 



energy, will weigh advantageously against 
these defects, He is steadily moving along 
towards security, perhaps the asset most 
highly treasured in the employed world. 
He may be giving during the week more than 
he receives from his employer on Saturday, 
but in fact he is, in all probability, receiving 
quite as much as he gives, though something 
— not money — of what he receives costs the 
employer nothing. 

Moreover, the transaction should not be 
viewed simply as a transaction between the 
employs and the employer. It is also a 
transaction between the employi and society 
at large. And, seen in this light, it will 
appear less unjust, even in the monetary sense. 
Justice cannot be calculated and balanced 
up week by week, nor year by year. In 
practice it is achieved by decades, or in half 
a lifetime or a lifetime. The reward of 
energy seldom comes immediately. It often 
lags ten years behind ; it generally lags five 
years behind. A man advanced in life may 
seem to be overpaid for what he is doing at 
a given moment. But at that moment he 
is, actually, being paid for what he did years 



earlier. And when we see, as we not seldom 
do, old men apparently obtaining large 
salaries for light labour, we should bear this 
in mind. What they are being paid for is 
their reputation, their reliability, their ex- 
perience, their reserves of skill and force 
ready for emergencies which may arise. 

Hence the young employi will be well 
advised not to ladle out his energy with a 
teaspoon, nor to weigh it continually in 
scales against immediate money. He pos- 
sesses energy in plenty, and he must fling it 
around as some millionaires do coin. He 
must take the risk of not getting the ultimate 
coward. He must not think in short periods, 
but in very long periods- He must sow the 
seeds of oaks, not of Virginia creepers, and 
exercise that immense patience which the 
growth of acorns demands. 

Of course it will be objected that if all 
employ Ss conducted themselves according to 
this advice, none of them would get the 
advantages of it, while the employer would 
be on velvet. True ! No answer can be 
put forward to this objection, It need not, 
however, trouble us, because there is not the 




by Google 



Most of ihem remain employ£t to the 
end of their working days. 
Original from 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



no 



How To Make The Best Of Life 



slightest chance of all employes, or of the 
majority of employes, conducting themselves 
according to the aforesaid advice. The 
advice will be welcomed by all, but acted 
upon by fe%v, and I am not going to pretend 
anything else, 

The few who do act upon it should remem- 
ber that in nothing is tact more necessary 
than in well-doing. Idleness in an employ i 
will cause no unpleasantness with his fellow- 
employSs unless they are compelled to do the 
idler's work for him, and should this happen, 
the idler will soon be in urgent need of a 
situation. If the idler's idleness incon- 
veniences nobody but the employer, the 
other employ is will endure the employer's 




The industrious apprentice sometimes 

fails into the habit of conscious moral 

superiority even to his employer. 

misfortune with the utmost fortitude and 
tranquillity* and the idler will get on very 
%vell with them, possibly even coming in for 
a certain amount of admiration. But the 
truly M industrious apprentice " must take 
care. If he does not exercise diplomacy, 
tact, and the subtlety of serpents, he will be 
passively, and perhaps actively, disliked, for 
the obvious reason that he is setting up 



" " tumg 



a new and more exacting standard for all his 
fellows, inspiring the employer to criticize 
them with sharper eyes, and generally dis- 
turbing the eternal order of things, Sin has 
its penalties, but so has righteousness. 
Moreover, righteousness is very apt to be 
called, and to develop into, self -righteousness. 
And let not the industrious apprentice 
suppose that the employer will like him all 
the more for thus unsettling the entire place 
by his splendid endeavours. The reverse 
will be the case* The employer would 
doubtless be willing to sack the whole of the 
rest of the staff if he could replace every 
individual by an industrious apprentice. 
But he cannot, and he knows he cannot. 

Meanwhile he de- 
sires above every- 
thing harmony. 

Again, the in- 
dustrious appren- 
tice sometimes 
falls into the habit 
of conscious moral 
s u peri ority e ve n to 
his employer, who 
perhaps is a bit of 
a slacker himself. 
He may go so far 
as to put his em- 
ployer in the 
wrong. Now em- 
ployers, like 
princes, are never 
wrong. Therefore, 
let the industrious 
apprentice go 
warily. The art 
of dealing with 
one's employer and 
the art of dealing 
with one's fellow- 
em £ / ;y <? s are 
scarcely less im- 
portant than the 
art of dealing with 
the work itself. 

This is not 
cynicism, merely 
sense. 

A last point in 
this connection. 
If the energetic, 
conscientious, 
generous, and tact- 
ful employ £ is a]so very ambitious, he will, 
sooner or later, and probably sooner than 
later, be confronted with the problem : 
" Shall I stay where I am, or shall I be 
adventurous and go somewhere else ? Jl To 
my mind the answer is clear- He should 
not stay where he is. The man who remains 
long in one situation sinks into a groove ; 
lit 1 tiiils u ;. qiui new experience ; and he 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



in 



loses elasticity 
and enterprise, 
And as the years 
pass, he grows 
older and the fresh 
openings diminish 
in number. Also, 
he becomes afraid. 
Employers usually 
hesitate about en- 
gaging an employe 
who has not 
budged for a long 
period. They fear 
his fixed habits. 
They know that 
he will not and 
cannot respond 
easily to u n- 
familiar sugges- 
tions. This state 
of affairs is natur- 
ally well known 
to the employer 
under whom the 
employ & lias been 
for many years. 
The employer, 
though he does 
not wish the 
employ £ to leave 
him T feels that he 
has that hold over 
him which time 
alone can give, 
and inevitably the 
feeling influences 

his attitude towards the employe. The 
ambitious employi who knows himself to 
possess fundamental character must avoid 
grooves with all his heart and must, while 
showing prudence, face risks. 

Seldom does it occur that a genuine 
improvement of status can be attained 
without facing risks. There are scores of 
fine opportunities round about any ambitious 
employi. They are useless until they are 
explored, and not a solitary one of them can 
be explored unless the employs is prepared to 
burn his boats. Nearly all very successful 
men have burnt their boats, not once but 
several times. They have continually ex- 
plored opportunities, now and then with 
lamentable temporary results* They have 
gone on. Their lives have been dramatic, 
and often melodramatic, (ireat success can- 
not be achieved without serious risks, and 
therefore without the abandonment of 
security. 

But not all energetic employ is of sound 
character are ambitious. Many of them are 
quite unambitious, and want security first 
and last, Security assured, they will toil 
hard and often use considerable brains 



/W-JJP 




The majority of young men first seriously think of saving when 
they set eyes on a young woman who pleases their fancy in an 

unusual degree. 



in order to make it the most comfort- 
able sort of security, but they will not 
exchange security for no matter how many 
tickets in the gleaming lottery of the world. 
They have not the quality of adventurous- 
ness. The advice against inhabiting grooves 
does not apply to this non-adventurous 
category of excellence. 

THE EXCHEQUER. 

The trouble about discussing how to make 
the best of life is that one is forced to make 
so many excursions into the obvious. The 
failure to make the best of life is due, as often 
as not, to the neglect of the conspicuously 
obvious — to the omission to do some per- 
fectly simple thing which everybody agrees 
ought to be done, or to the commission of 
some perilous imprudence which everybody 
agrees ought to be very carefully avoided. 
It is as if, before entering a house, the candi- 
date for success had to be warned not to try 
to walk through a closed and locked door, 
or, having begun to live in the house, had to 
be exhorted to take his clothes off at night 
and put them on in the morning, to eat at 



byLjGOgk 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



112 



How To Make The Best Of Life 



regular intervals, to refrain from debauchery — 
had even to be told that in order to sustain 
life he must breathe. 

Now, for the youth starting upon an 
independent existence, extracting for the 
first time a livelihood from the world, 
depending on his own efforts for all his own 
necessaries and luxuries, there is one elemen- 
tary safeguard which he positively ought to 
take. I hesitate to name it, because it is so 
elementary. I blush to name it, and yet I 
am bound to name it, for the reason that a 
very large proportion of people calmly and 
persistently ignore it. He positively ought 
to save. You all agree, of course. Naturally 
and inevitably, he ought to save. The whole 
adult population of the civilized globe is 
aware of that ! But does he in fact save ? 
I will tell you. The majority of young men 
first seriously think of saving when they set 
eyes on a young woman who pleases their 
fancy in an unusual degree. When the 
greatest force in Nature compels the average 
young man to admit in his heart that he is 
undone unless he becomes the husband of a 
particular girl, and makes himself responsible 
for her future as well as his own, then he says 
to himself, with the effect of a sudden, 
startling discovery : — 

44 By Jove ! I must begin saving at once ! " 

And he begins. It is rather late in the 
day, for he does not want a long engagement, 
and you cannot ordinarily purchase the 
furniture of a love-nest out of the savings of 
six months or a year — hence the hire-pur- 
chase system ! — but, thank Heaven, he does 
begin. A shock has revealed to him, at any 
rate, one profound economic truth which 
had been staring him in the face perhaps for 
years, but which he had in some mysterious 
way failed to see. The shock was equivalent 
to an operation for cataract. I am less 
sure about the thrift of young women, but 
my impression is that it is not superior to 
that of young men. 

From the first moment when he assumes 
control of his budget, the youth ought to 
commence saving, and he ought consistently 
to continue to save. No matter how small 
his revenue, he ought to save. If saving 
involves depriving himself of cigarettes, 
cinemas, fancy socks, or butter upon his 
bread, still he ought to save, he ought to 
perform a miracle and save. He may be 
able to save only a very little, a trifle, a mere 
nothing — he ought to save. It is the habit 
of saving that counts, not the sum saved. 

Savings are a weapon which no one can 
afford to disdain. The world is a dark 
forest infested by brigands and tigers ; 
savings are the gun of defence. Without 
savings a man is at the mercy of an illness, 
an accident, a war, a trade collapse, the 
caprice of an employer. And there are tens 

Digitized by viOOfflc 



of thousands of individuals, and not only 
young individuals, in London and New York 
to-day who have nothing between them- 
selves and calamity but the coins in their 
pockets and the wages due to them next 
Saturday. This is a strange and very 
disconcerting fact, but a fact it is. The bulk 
of these tens of thousands of individuals are 
careless fools, guilty of the lunacy of the man 
who smokes a cigarette in a petrol store. 
It is all obvious. Yet, though I blush for 
writing it down, I do not apologize. 

Further, and in addition to saving in 
liquid money, the youth ought to insure his 
life. Insurance companies, who have culti- 
vated the craft of plausibility to an amazing 
degree, affirm to the youth that it is cheaper 
to insure oneself when young. I once asked 
an insurance manager to explain to me why 
insurance companies treated the young man 
more favourably than the old. I inquired 
whether they did it for the fun of the thing 
or from a high-minded intention to improve 
the moral character of the race. He 
naturally had to admit in reply that insur- 
ance companies do not treat the young more 
favourably than the old, and that they treat 
people of all ages in precisely the same hard, 
business-like style. It is not cheaper to 
insure young than old. So'far as his relations 
with the insurance company goes, the insured 
person has no advantage whatever in insuring 
young. He pays lower premiums, but he 
pays more of them ; the insurance company 
gets the same amount of money in the end. 

As regards himself, however, the youth has 
a very considerable advantage in insuring. 
To insure is a dodge for compelling himself 
to save. Further, an insurance policy pro- 
vides automatically the readiest and cheapest 
method of borrowing money that exists. I 
do not urge the youth to borrow money ; I 
hope that he will not borrow money ; but 
eases of forced borrowing to meet disagreeable 
and totally unexpected crises do, 1 believe, 
occur ! Another advantage of the insurance 
policy, in the United Kingdom, is that the 
premiums paid can be deducted from income- 
tax returns. A few years ago income-tax 
was something that youths had only heard of. 
To-day, happy is the youth who has not come 
into affrighting contact with the Income-tax 
Collector ! 

The varieties of insurance are many ; but 
they may be divided roughly into two classes, 
the policy payable at death and the " endow- 
ment " policy. The latter is payable at a 
given age, or at death if it happens earlier, or 
after the payment of an agreed number of 
premiums. The endowment policy seems to 
me to be preferable to the policy payable at 
death. It is very conceivable that one may 
seriously need money at the age of fifty or 
sixty, and if fortunately one does not, one 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



JI 3 



can always re-invest the assured sum in 
another policy, or in other ways known to 
science* And it occurs not infrequently that 
the insured person survives the relatives for 
whose sake he has insured himself : in which 
case he may have a longing to handle the 
money in his own lifetime ; he may go so far 
as to ask of what use the money will be to 
him in the grave where bodily needs are so 
few and luxuries so superfluous. 

The above two points are not, perhaps, the 
major essentials of the youth's budget ; but 
they are essentials which for years are 
neglected more frequently than any other 
essentials, and that is why I have given 
prominence to 
them, 

As for the indi- 
vidual budget 
generally, I will 
merely say that it 
must be conceived 
and planned as a 
whole, as a life's 
career must be 
conceived and 
planned, with a 
right sense of pro- 
portion, and with 
two eyes upon the 
main objects of 
existence. One 
part must not be 
starved at the ex- 
pense of another. 
Pinching will be 
unavoidable ; in- 
adequacy will be 
unavoidable ; but 
the pinching and 
the inadequacy 
must be equally 
distributed. For 
example, I would 
not advise a youth 
to abandon smoking entirely in order to 
buy books (unless, of course, smoking is 
unpleasant to him), I would advise him to 
miss a book occasionally in order to buy a 
cigarette occasionally— while counting his 
cigarettes a hundred times more strictly than 
his books. 

THE HIGHER LIFE AND THE LOWER 

And now I want to put myself right, 
beyond the chance of misunderstanding, with 
those who may think that I am stressing too 
much the material part of existence, and who 
may be likely to say that there are far more 
important matters in life than income and 
expenditure, and that these matters, being 
more important, should come first. I agree 
that the moral, intellectual, artistic, and 

Vol \.v,-B 



He will deliberately and 
borrow money from 



emotional parts of rife have more to do with 
happiness and right living than the merely 
material. I agree, for example, that it is 
more important for a man to act justly and 
benevolently towards his fellows than for 
him to manage his budget scientifically, to 
eat good food, to lie on a comfortable bed, 
or to be well dressed according to his own 
station. But I maintain that it is quite 
possible, and indeed proper, for a man to 
attend to all sides of his life, and that exactly 
as the mental existence must depend pri- 
marily on the physical existence, the whole 
of the finer and more exalted activities must 
be based upon a sound material activity. 

Further, I main- 
tain that to earn 
one's living skil- 
fully and well, and 
to spend or save 
one's money in 
the same way, 
satisfies a funda- 
mental natural in- 
stinct which can- 
not be satisfied 
otherwise. All the 
vague talk which 
one hears about 
living on a 
higher plane and 
despising the 
material plane is 
to my mind dan- 
gerously wrong- 
headed. Nobody 
can live on the 
higher plane with- 
out living also on 
the material plane. 
Nobody can cut 
himself off from 
the material plane 
and swim, as it 
were, unsup- 
ported in a spiritual atmosphere. The thing 
is against Nature, and patently absurd. 

Take the extreme case of a religious 
community which exists for contemplation, 
prayer, redemption, and everlasting welfare, 
and the members of which are said to have 
M cut themselves off from the world." They 
have not cut themselves off from the world. 
I say nothing whatever against such com- 
munities, which may well be performing a 
very lofty function in the immensely complex 
organism of human society. But the mem- 
bers thereof have not cut themselves off 
from the world, nor from the material system 
of the world. The clothes they wear, the 
food they cat, the coal that warms them, the 
chairs they sit on, the buildings they inhabit* 
are all an immediate product of the material 
system* They have been made by human 

L,, VER^TY OF MICHIGAN 




with misrepresentation 
defrauded friends* 



"4 



How To Make The Best Of Life 




The fact that this young man may produce something good now 
and then is beside the point. 



units of the material system. If the com- 
munity enjoys an income, as it does, that 
income is material ; it springs from material 
activities, and it is possessed by the com- 
munity because somebody who amassed the 
capital or obtained the land by purely 
material activities thought fit to make a pre- 
sent of it to the community. If the material 
system goes wrong, and in so far as it goes 
wrong, the higher activities of the community 
will go wrong. And, in fact, it is well known 
that the directing heads of such communities 
are deeply occupied, and must be deeply 
occupied, by material questions. And they 
occupy themselves with material questions 
to the end that the higher activities which 
they control may smoothly prosper. Instead 
of being cut off from the material world they 
are closely engaged within the material 
world ; and they have a reputation, not 
undeserved, for exceptional ability in the 
conduct of material affairs. And they are 
quite right. 

Many other instances might be given of 
repudiation of the material part of existence 
which is not in fact repudiation at alL I 
need not enlarge upon the case of the fashion- 
able lady with a husband making fifty 
thousand a year out of the commercial 
system, two houses, three motor -cars, and 
thirty servants, who gives herself ecstatically 



and totally to the study of 
the problems of spiritualism. 
But I ought to mention the 
case of the young poet, painter, 
or musician, with a passion for 
his art, who scorns 
what he probably 
calls the " gross 
materialism" of the 
world which he 
adorns. I have met 
many specimens of 
this young man. In 
the first place he is 
generally in debt. 
That is to say, he 
has entered into 
commercial con- 
tracts — for the 
occupation of a 
studio, the purchase 
of meat and beer, 
the hire of a piano 
— which contracts 
he has broken, In 
other words he is 
dishonest, having 
got what he could 
out of the despised 
materialism and 
then omitted to 
pay for it. Or in 
still other words, he 
has by false pretences contrived to cause 
human units in the commercial system to 
labour for his well-being while doing nothing 
himself for them in return. This young man 
will deliberately and with misrepresentation 
borrow money from defrauded friends, which 
money comes directly out of the commercial 
system. 

And though he may exhibit a certain 
carelessness about his meals and his bed, he 
often depends very much upon the quality 
and quantity of his drinks, and he nearly 
always depends absolutely upon his cigar- 
ettes, which cigarettes are gross, physical 
cigarettes, manufactured and distributed 
by human units in the commercial system, 
on the clear understanding that the business 
shall help to keep together the souls and 
bodies of those human units. 

The young man is frequently very idle* 
because lie has never taken the trouble to 
organize his physical life ; and his days 
being unorganized, irregular, and mainly 
empty, he develops into a capricious creature 
with a gradually decreasing control over his 
lower instincts. And even so, in as far as 
he continues to exist, he is utterly dependent 
on the physical mechanisms which he affects 
to scorn while defrauding them. 

The fact tha/t this yc-ung: man may produce 
sometlfj^^^p^y^^^erpiece, now 



Arnold Bennett 



ll 5 



and then, is beside the point. He will 
produce whatever he produces in spite and 
not because of his dishonest philosophy of 
life. He would certainly produce much 
more and much better if he had had the 
sense to realize that only gasbags can idly 
float in the air — and even they for not more 
than a limited period ! 

DESPISING SMALL THINGS, 

I would not like to attach an undue 
importance to the business of M getting on JJ 
in a material sense. There are human 
beings — and they may be very fine human 
beings, they may be the finest of all human 
beings — who have no worldly ambition and 
only the least possible interest in the physical 
side of life, using the word " physical " in a 
wide significance. They find the satisfaction 
of their best instincts in the mind and the 
soul ; it is a matter of indifference to them 
whether they are employers or employed, 
whether they are counted successful or un- 
successful, whether they clean their own 
boots or are waited upon by innumerable 
menials, whether they eat bread or caviare, 
whether they live in palaces or huts, whether 
they spend two hundred or twenty thousand 
a year, Such human beings, though they 
suffer the inevitable disadvantages of being 
peculiar, are singularly fortunate, partly 
because they are singularly independent and 
partly because the quality of the happiness 
they strive after and often achieve is purely 
spiritual or intellectual. 

But even these cannot safely neglect the 
physical basis of existence ; they cannot 
safely muddle their budgets, and if by care- 
lessness or self-conceit they take more from 
the physical world than they give to the 
physical world, their ideals will be smirched 



and they will suffer in precisely that which 
is most precious to them, 

And for the far larger number of us, who 
wish to succeed in a general way, whether in 
commerce, the learned professions, the arts 
or the sciences, the proper organization of 
the budget, the common matter-of-fact 
worldly budget, should be the first pre- 
occupation. The relations of any individual 
with the world at large are decided, not by 
the private canons of the individual, but by 
the canons of the world at large. 

None of us can deal with the world in his 
own terms, Security must be paid for by 
the strictest adherence to the principles laid 
down by the experience of mankind gathered 
and matured through scores of centuries. 
If those principles are ignored friction will 
be the certain result, and the amount of 
the friction will vary with the extent of the 
ignoring. Friction, no matter how simple 
or absurd its origin, will interfere with and 
sometimes scotch the highest activities of 
the brain, If a youth, endeavouring to live 
rightly, omits to have his boots mended he 
may catch a chill on a wet day which will 
spoil his chances for a crucial examination. 
How can anybody devote himself wholly to 
the pursuit of a vast scheme involving his 
whole career if his mind is to be continually 
pulled away from the supreme subject by 
petty anxieties about rent-day, or the bill 
at the grocer's, or the painful condition of 
teeth whose warnings have been disregarded ? 
He simply cannot. The proposition has 
only to be stated to carry conviction. The 
biggest things in life depend on the smallest 
things. That is why the smallest things, 
the prosaic and humdrum things, the things 
that superior spirits are so apt impatiently 
to scorn, need to be handled with the same 
efficiency as the greatest things. 



Next Month: "Falling in Love," 




by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



116 



BERTIE CHANGES 
"HIS MIND " 




PGWODEHOUSE 



A VVALL/S M/U^S 



IT has happened so frequently in the 
past few years that young fellows 
starting in my profession have come 
to me for a word of advice, that I've 
found it convenient now to condense my 
system into a brief formula, " Resource 
and Tact " — that is my motto. Tact, of 
course, has always been with me a sine qua 
non : while as for resource, I think 1 may 
say that I have usually contrived to show a 
certain modicum of what I might call finesse 
in handling those little contretemps which 
inevitably arise from time to time in the 
daily life of a gentleman's personal gentle- 
man, 1 am re minded , just by way of an 
instance, of the Episode of the School for 
Young Ladies down Brighton way* Now, 
there was a case. The very moment I 
observed the small child waving to us in the 

road, I said to myself- But perhaps it 

will be more satisfactory to relate the affair 
from the beginning. And I think it may be 
said to have commenced one evening at 
the moment when I brought the guv 'nor his 
whisky and siphon and he burst out at me 
with such remarkable petulance. 

Kind of moody the guv "nor had been for 
some days. Not at all his usual bright self. 
I had pot it down to reaction from a slight 
attack of influenza which he'd been having : 
and, of course, I took no notice, just per- 
forming my duties as usual, until this evening 
which I'm talking about, when I brought 
him his whisky and siphon as was customary 
and he burst out at me. 

" Oh, dash it, Jeeves ! " he said, sort of 
overwrought. " I wish at least you'd put 
it on another table for a change," 

" Sir ? " I said. 

" Every night, hang it all," proceeded the 
guv 'nor, Hf you come in at exactly the same 
old time with the same old tray and put it 
on the same dashed old table. I'm fed up, 

Copyright, igaa, by 



I tell you. It's the bally monotony of it 
that makes it all seem so frightfully bally." 

I confess that his words filled me with a 
certain apprehension. I had heard gentle- 
men in whose employment I've been talk in 
very much the same way before, and it had 
almost invariably meant that they were 
contemplating matrimony. It disturbed me, 
therefore, I'm free to admit, when Mr, 
Wooster spoke in this fashion. I had no 
desire to sever a connection so pleasant in 
every respect as his and mine had been, and 
my experience is that when the wife comes 
in at the front door the valet of bachelor 
days goes out at the back, 

" It's not your fault, of course," went on 
the guv 'nor, calming down a trifle. "I'm 
not blaming you. But, by Jove, I mean, 
you must acknowledge, I mean to say — 
I've been thinking pretty deeply these last 
few days, Jeeves, and I've come to the 
conclusion mine is an empty life, I'm 
lonely, Jeeves." 

14 You have a great many friends, sir," I 
pointed out, 

II What's the good of friends ? " 

" Emerson says a friend may well be 
reckoned the masterpiece of Nature, sir." 

,( Well, you can tell Emerson from me 
next time you see him that he's an ass." 

" Very good, sir." 

" What I %vant — Jeeves, have you seen 
that plav (ailed I -forget -it splashed -name ? " 

" No, sir." 

" It's on at the What-d 'you -call -it I went 
last njght. The hero's a chap who's buzzing 
along, you know, quite merry and bright, and 
suddenly a kid turns up and says she's his 
daughter. Left over from act one, you 
know — absolutely the first he r d heard of it* 
Well, of course, there's a bit of a fuss and 
they say to him ■ ' Whil-ho ? ' and he says : 

p." o v wlI*E?ftft at Jicfll&ff"* 5ay : 



P. G. Wodehouse 



117 



• Well, what about it ? * and he says : ' Oh, 
all right, then, if that's the way you feel ! ' 
and he takes the kid and goes off with her 
out into the world together, you know. 
Well, what I'm driving at, Jeeves, is that I 
envied that chappie. Most awfully jolly 
little girl, you know, clinging to him trust- 
ingly and what not. Something to look after, 
if you know what I mean. Jeeves, I wish 
I had a daughter. I wonder what the 
procedure is ? " 

" Marriage is, I believe, considered the 
preliminary step, sir." 

" No, I mean about adopting a kid. You 
can adopt kids, you know, Jeeves. I've 
seen it in the papers, often. ' So-and-so, 
adopted daughter of Tiddleypush.' It can 
be done all right. But what I want to know 
is how you start about it." 

•• The process, I should imagine, would be 
highly complicated and laborious, sir. It 
would cut into your spare time." 

This seemed to check him for a while. 
Then he brightened up. 

" Well, I'll tell you what I could do, then. 
My sister will be back from India next week 
with her three little girls. I'll give up this 
flat and take a house and have them all to 
live with me. By Jove, Jeeves, I think 
that's rather a scheme, what ? Prattle of 
childish voices, eh ? Little feet pattering 
hither and thither, yes ! " 

I concealed my perturbation. The scheme 
the guv'nor was toying with meant the finish 
of our cosy bachelor establishment if it came 
off : and no doubt some men in my place 
would at this juncture have voiced their 
disapproval and probably got the sack for it, 
the guv'nor being in what you might call an 
edgey mood. I avoided this tracasserie. 

" If you will pardon my saying so, sir," I 
suggested, tactfully, " I think you are not 
quite yourself after your influenza. If I 
might express the opinion, what you require 
is a few days by the sea. Brighton is very 
handy, sir." 

" Are you suggesting that I'm talking 
through my hat ? " 

" By no means, sir. I merely advocate a 
short stay at Brighton as a physical re- 
cuperative." 

The guv'nor thought it over. 

" Well, I'm not sure you're not right. I 
am feeling more or less of an onion. You 
might shove a few things in a suit-case and 
drive me down in the car to-morrow." 

" Very good, sir." 

" And when we get back I'll be in the pink 
and ready to tackle this pattering feet 
wheeze." 

" Exactly, sir." 

Well, it was a respite, and I welcomed it. 
But I began to see that a crisis had arisen 
which would require adroit handling. Rarely 



had I observed the guv'nor more set on a 
thing. Indeed, I could recall no such 
exhibition of determination on his part 
since the time when he had insisted, against 
my obvious disapproval, on wearing purple 
socks. However, I had coped successfully 
with that outbreak, and I was by no means 
un-sanguine that I should eventually be able 
to bring the present affair to a happy issue. 
Employers are like horses. They want 
managing. Some of us have the knack of 
managing them, some haven't. I, I am 
happy to say, have no cause for complaint. 

FOR myself, I found our stay at Brighton 
highly enjoyable, and should have been 
willing to extend it ; but the guv'nor, 
still restless, had had enough by the end of 
a couple of days, and on the third afternoon 
he instructed me to pack up and bring the 
car round to the hotel. We started back 
along the London road at about five of a fine 
summer's day, and had travelled perhaps 
two miles when this incident of the waving 
young lady occurred, to which I have 
already alluded. I trod on the brake and 
brought the vehicle to a standstill. 

" What," inquired the guv'nor, waking 
from a reverie, M is the big thought at the 
back of this, Jeeves ? " 

" I observed a young lady endeavouring 
to attract our attention with signals a little 
way down the road, sir," I explained. 
" She is now making her way towards us." 

The guv'nor peered. 

"I see her. I expect she wants a lift, 
Jeeves." 

11 That was the interpretation which I 
placed upon her actions, sir." 

" A jolly-looking kid," said the guv'nor. 
•' I wonder what she's doing, biffing about 
the high road." 

" She has the air to me, sir, of one who has 
been playing hookey. From school, sir." 

" Hallo-allo-allo ! " said the guv'nor, as 
the child reached us. " Do you want a lift ? " 

** Oh, I say, can you ? " said the child, 
with marked pleasure. 

" Where do you want to go ? " 

" There's a turning to the left about a mile 
farther on. If you'll put me down there, 
I'll walk the rest of the way. I say, thanks 
awfully. I've got a nail in my shoe." 

She climbed in at the back. A red-haired 
young person with a snub nose and an 
extremely large grin. Her age, I should 
imagine, would be about twelve. She let 
down one of the spare seats, and knelt on it 
to facilitate conversation 

" I'm going to get into a frightful row," 
she began. " Miss Tomlinson will be per- 
fectly furious." 

" No, really ? " said the guv'nor. 

" Per-kctbj furious, my dear 1 It's a 

"IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



116 




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pa^t U 
start 1 : *■ i 
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by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



P. G. Wodehouse 



119 



will pardon my saying so, many of the Pro- 
fessor's opinions strike me personally as 
somewhat empirical. Shall I drive on to the 
school, sir ? " 

M Yes, carry on. I say, Jeeves, it's a 
rummy thing. Do you know, I Ve never been 
inside a girls' school in my life." 

" Indeed, sir ? " 

" Ought to be a dashed interesting experi- 
ence, Jeeves, what ? " 

" I fancy that you may find it so, sir," I 
said. 

We drove on a matter of half a mile down a 
lane, and, directed by the young person, I 
turned in at the gates of a house of imposing 
dimensions, bringing the car to a halt at the 
front door. The guv 'nor and the child went 
in, and presently a parlourmaid came out 

" You're to take the car round to the 
stables, please, ' she said. 

•' Ah ! Then everything is satisfactory, 
eh ? Where has the guv'nor got to ? " 

" Miss Peggy has taken him off to meet her 
friends. And cook says she hopes you'll 
step round to the kitchen later and have a 
cup of tea." 

i4 Inform her that I shall be delighted. 
Before I take the car to the stables, would it 
be possible for me to have a word with Miss 
Tomlinson ? " 

A moment later I was following her into 
the drawing-room. 

Handsome but strong-minded — that was 
how I summed up Miss Tomlinson at first 
glance. In some ways she recalled to my 
mind the guv'nor's Aunt Agatha. She had 
the same penetrating gaze and that indefin- 
able air of being reluctant to stand any 
nonsense. 

" I fear I am possibly taking a liberty, 
madam," I began, " but I am hoping that 
you will allow me to say a word with respect 
to my employer. I fancy I am correct in 
supposing that Mr. Wooster did not tell you 
a great deal about himself ? " 

" He told me nothing about himself, 
except that he was a friend of Professor 
Mainwaring." 

" He did not inform you, then, that he 
was the Mr. Wooster ? " 

" The Mr. Wooster ? " 

" Bertram Wooster, madam." 

I will say for the guv'nor that, mentally 
negligible though he no doubt is, he has a 
name that suggests almost infinite possi- 
bilities. He sounds like Someone — especially 
if you've just been told he's an intimate 
friend of Professor Mainwaring. You might 
not be able to say off-hand whether he was 
Bertram Wooster the novelist, or Bertram 
Wooster the founder of a new school of 
thought ; but you would have an uneasy 
feeling that you were exposing your ignor- 
ance if you did not give the impression of 



familiarity with the name. Miss Tomlinson, 
as I had rather foreseen, nodded brightly. 

" Oh, Bertram Wooster ! " she said. 

"He is an extremely retiring gentleman, 
madam, and would be the last to suggest it 
himself, but, knowing him as I do, I am sure 
that he would take it as a graceful com- 
pliment if you were to ask him to address the 
young ladies. He is an excellent extempore 
speaker." 

" A very good idea ! " said Miss Tomlin- 
son, decidedly. " I am very much obliged 
to you for suggesting it. I will certainly ask 
him to talk to the girls." 

" And should he make a pretence — 
through modesty — of not wishing ? " 

" I shall insist ! " 

" Thank you, madam. I am obliged. 
You will not mention my share in the 
matter ? Mr. Wooster might think that I 
had exceeded my duties." 

I drove round to the stables and halted the 
car in the yard. As I got out, I looked at it 
somewhat intently. It was a good car, and 
appeared to be in excellent condition, but 
somehow I seemed to feel that something 
was going to go wrong with it — something 
pretty serious — something that wouldn't be 
able to be put right again for at least a 
couple of hours. 

One gets these presentiments. 

IT may have been some half-hour later 
that the guv'nor came into the stable- 
yard as I was leaning against the car 
and smoking a quiet cigarette. 

" No, don't chuck it away, Jeeves," he 
said, as I withdrew the cigarette from my 
mouth. "As a matter of fact, I've come to 
touch you for a smoke. Got one to spare ? " 

" Only gaspers, I fear, sir." 

" They'll do," responded the guv'nor, with 
no little eagerness. I observed that his 
manner was a trifle fatigued and his eye 
somewhat wild. *' It's a rummy thing, 
Jeeves, I seem to have lost my cigarette-case. 
Can't find it anywhere." 

•' I am sorry to hear that, sir. It is not in 
the car." 

" No ? Must have dropped it some- 
where, then." He drew at his gasper with 
relish. * Jolly creatures, small girls, Jeeves," 
he remarked, after a pause. 

•' Extremely so, sir." 

" Of course, I can imagine some fellows 
finding them a bit exhausting in — er " 

" En masse, sir ? " 

•' That's the word. A bit exhausting en 
masse" 

" I must confess, sir, that that is how they 
used to strike me. In my younger days, at 
the outset of my career, sir, I was at one time 
page-boy in a school for young ladies." 

" Wirv#motMi.Sfr that befnre - 



120 



Bertie Changes His Mind 



I say, Jeeves — er — did the — er — dear little 
souls giggle much in your day ? " 
44 Practically without cessation, sir." 
44 Makes a fellow feel a bit of an ass, what ? 
I shouldn't wonder if they usedn't to stare 
at you from time to time, too, eh ? " 

" At the school where I was employed, sir, 
the young ladies had a regular game which 
they used to play when a male visitor 
arrived. They would stare fixedly at him 
and giggle, and there was a small prize for 
the one who made him blush first." 
44 Oh, no, I say, Jeeves, not really ? " 
44 Yes, sir." 

" I'd no idea small girls were such demons." 
44 More deadly than the male, sir." 
The guv 'nor passed a handkerchief over 
his brow. 

" Well, we're going to have tea in a few 
minutes, Jeeves. I expect I shall feel better 
after tea." 

44 We will hope so, sir." 

But I was by no means sanguine. 

I HAD an agreeable tea in the kitchen. 
The buttered toast was good and the 
maids nice girls, though with little 
conversation. The parlourmaid, who joined 
us towards the end of the meal, after per- 
forming her duties in the school dining- 
room, reported that the guv'nor was 
sticking it pluckily, but seemed feverish. 
I went back to the stable-yard, and I was 
just giving the car another look-over when 
the small Mainwaring child appeared. 

,4 Oh, I say," she said, *' will you give this 
to Mr. Wooster when you see him ? " She 
held out the guv'nor's cigarette-case. M He 
must have dropped it somewhere. I say,'' 
she proceeded, 4i it's an awful lark. He's 
going to give a lecture to the school." 

" Indeed, miss ? " 

4 ' We love it when there are lectures. We 
sit and stare at the poor dears, and try to 
make them dry up. There was a man last 
term who got hiccoughs. Oh, do you think 
Mr. Wooster will get hiccoughs ? " 

" We can but hope for the best, miss." 

" It would be such a lark, wouldn't it ? " 

44 Highly enjoyable, miss." 

' 4 Well, I must be getting back. I want 
to get a front seat." 

And she scampered off. An engaging 
child. Full of spirits. 

She had hardly gone when there was an 
agitated noise, and round the corner came 
the guv'nor. Perturbed. Deeply so. 

44 Jeeves ! " 

44 Sir ? " 

" Start the car t " 

• 4 Sir ? " 

" I'm off ! " 

" Sir ? " 

The guv'nor danced a few steps. 



>gle 



44 Don't stand there saying * Sir ? ' I tell 
you I'm off. Bally off ! There's not a 
moment to waste. The situation's desperate. 
Dash it, Jeeves, do you know what's hap- 
pened ? The Tomlinson female has just 
sprung it on me that I'm expected to make 
a speech to the girls ! Got to stand up there 
in front of the whole dashed collection and 
talk ! I can just see myself ! Get that car 
going, Jeeves, dash it all. A little speed, a 
little speed ! " 

44 Impossible, I fear, sir. The car is out of 
order." 

The guv'nor gaped at me. Very glassily 
he gaped. 

44 Out of order ! " 

" Yes, sir. Something is wrong. Trivial, 
perhaps, but possibly a matter of some little 
time to repair." The guv'nor being one of 
those easy-going young gentlemen who'll 
drive a car but never take the trouble to 
learn anything about its mechanism, I felt 
justified in becoming technical. * 4 I think 
it is the differential gear, sir. Either that or 
the exhaust." 

I'm fond of the guv'nor, and I admit I 
came very near to melting as I looked at his 
face. He was staring at me in a sort of dumb 
despair that would have touched anybody. 

" Then I'm sunk ! Or " — a slight gleam 
of hope flickered across his drawn features — 
4 * do you think I could sneak out and leg it 
across country, Jeeves ? " 

" Too late, I fear, sir." I indicated with a 
slight gesture the approaching figure of Miss 
Tomlinson, who was advancing with a serene 
determination in his immediate rear. 

•* Ah, there you are, Mr. Wooster." 

The guv'nor smiled a sickly smile. 

44 Yes — er — here I am ! " 

" We are all waiting for you in the large 
schoolroom." 

" But, I say, look here," said the guv'nor, 
" I — I don't know a bit what to talk about." 

•' Why, anything, Mr. Wooster. Any- 
thing that comes into your head. Be 
bright," said Miss Tomlinson. " Bright and 
amusing." 

• Oh, bright and amusing ? " 

44 Possibly tell them a few entertaining 
stories. But, at the same time, do not 
neglect the graver note. Remember that 
my girls are on the threshold of life, and will 
be eager to hear something brave and helpful 
and stimulating — something which they can 
remember in after years. But, of course, 
you know the sort of thing, Air. Wooster. 
Come. The young people are waiting." 

I HAVE spoken earlier of resource and 
the part it plays in the life of a 
gentleman's personal gentleman. It is 
a quality peculiarly necessary if one is 

to share. tin . rsjgnes ^^MprimariJy designed 



P. G, Wodehouse 



121 



for one's co-operation. So much that is 
interesting in life goes on apart behind 
closed doors that your gentleman's gentle- 
man, if foe is not to remain hopelessly 
behind the march of events, should 
exercise his wits in order to enable him- 
self to be — if not a spectator — at least an 
auditor when there is anything of interest 
toward. I deprecate as both vulgar and 
infra dig. the practice of listening at 
keyholes, but without lowering myself to 
that, 1 have generally contrived to find 
a way. 

In the present case it was simple. 
The large schoolroom was situated on 
the ground floor f with commodious 
French windows, which, as the weather 
was clement, remained open throughout 
the proceedings. By stationing myself 
behind a pillar on the porch or veranda 
which adjoined the room, I was enabled 
to see and hear all. It was an exper- 
ience which I should be sorry to have 
missed. The guv'nor indubitably excelled 
himself. 

Mr, Wooster 
is a young 
gentleman with 
practically 
every desirable 
quality except 
one, I do not 
mean brains, 
for in an em- 
ployer brains 
are not de- 
sirable. The 
quality to 
which I allude 
is hard to de- 
tine, but per- 
haps I might 
call it the gift 
of dealing with 
the Unusual Sit* 
nation. In the 
presence of the 
Unusual, Mr* 
Wooster is too 
prone to smile 
weakly and 
allow his eyes 
to protrude. 
He lacks Pre- 
sence. I have 
often wished 
that I had the 
power to bestow 
upon him some 
of the savoir- 
(aire of a former 
employer of 
mine, Mr. Mon- 
tague-Todd, the 



well-known financier, now in the second 
year of his sentence. I have known men 
call upon Mr, Todd with the express inten- 
tion of horsewhipping him and go away 
half an hour later laughing heartily and 
smoking one of his cigars. To Mr. Todd 
it would have been child's play to speak 
a lew impromptu words to a schoolroom 
full of young ladies ; in fact, before he had 



/ 

A 



\ 




lor you in the large schoolroom/ 
bit what to talk about. 



Why, anything, Mr, Wooster. 



%]fc*Tft#M: 



amusing. 



122 



Bertie Changes His Mind 



finished, he would probably have induced 
them to invest all their pocket-money in one 
of his numerous companies ; but to the 
guv'nor it was plainly an ordeal which had 
knocked all the stuffing out of him right from 
the start. He gave one look at the young 
ladies, who were all staring at him in an 
extremely unwinking manner, blinked, and 
started to pick feebly at his coat-sleeve. 
His aspect reminded me of that of a bashful 
young man who has been persuaded against 
his better judgment to go on the platform and 
assist a conjurer and is having rabbits and 
hard-boiled eggs taken out of the top of his 
head. 

The proceeding opened with a short but 
graceful speech of introduction from Miss 
Tomlinson. 

" Girls, some of you have already met 
Mr. Wooster — Mr. Bertram Wooster, and you 
all, I hope, know him by reputation." 
Here the guv'nor gave a hideous, gurgling 
laugh and, catching Miss Tomlinson 's eye, 
turned vermilion. Miss Tomlinson resumed. 
" He has very kindly consented to say a few 
words to you before he leaves, and I am sure 
that you will all give him your very earnest 
attention. Now, please." 

SHE gave a spacious gesture with her 
right hand as she said the last two 
words, and the guv'nor, under the 
impression that they were addressed to 
him, cleared his throat and began to say 
something. But it appeared that her remark 
was directed to the young ladies, and was 
in the nature of a cue or signal, for she 
had no sooner spoken them than the whole 
school rose to its feet in a body and burst into 
a species of chant, of which I am glad to say 
I can remember the words, though the tune 
eludes me. The lyric ran as follows : — 

Many greetings to you ! 
Many greetings to you ! 
Many greetings, dear stranger, 
Many greetings, 
Many greetings, 
Many greetings to you ! 
Many greetings to you I 
To you ! 

Considerable latitude of choice was given 
to the singers in the matter of key, and 
there was little of what I might call team- 
work. Each child went on till she had 
reached the end, then stopped and waited for 
the stragglers to come up. It was an unusual 
performance, and I, personally, found it 
extremely exhilarating. It seemed to smite 
the guv'nor, however, like a blow. He 
recoiled a couple of steps and flung up an 
arm defensively. Then the uproar died 
away, and an air of expectancy fell upon the 
room. Miss Tomlinson directed a bightly 



authoritative gaze upon the guv'nor, and he 
caught it, gulped somewhat, and tottered 
forward. 

" Well, you know " said the guv'nor. 

Then it seemed to strike him that this 
opening lacked the proper formal dignity. 

" Ladies " 

A silvery peal of laughter from the front 
row stopped him again. 

" Girls ! " said Miss Tomlinson. She spoke 
in a low, soft voice, but the effect was 
immediate. Perfect stillness instantly de- 
scended upon all present. I am bound to say 
that, brief as my acquaintance with Miss 
Tomlinson had been, I could recall few 
women I had admired more. She had 

grip- 

I fancy that Miss Tomlinson had gauged 
the guv'nor's oratorical capabilities pretty 
correctly by this time, and had come to the 
conclusion that nothing much in the way of 
a stirring address was to be expected from 
him. 

" Perhaps," she said, " as it is getting late, 
and he has not very much time to spare, Mr. 
Wooster will just give you some little word 
of advice which may be helpful to you in 
after-life, and then we will sing the school 
song and disperse to our evening lessons." 

She looked at the guv'nor. The guv'nor 
passed a finger round the inside of his collar. 

" Advice ? After-life ? What ? Well, I 
don't know " 

" Just some brief word of counsel, Mr. 
Wooster," said Miss Tomlinson, firmly. 

« Oh, well Well, yes Well " 

It was painful to see the guv'nor's brain 
endeavouring to work. " Well, I'll tell you 
something that's often done me a bit of good, 
and it's a thing not many people know. 
My old Uncle Henry gave me the tip when 
I first came to London. ' Never forget, my 
boy,' he said, 4 that, if you stand outside 
Romano's in the Strand, you can see the 
clock on the wall of the Law Courts down in 
Fleet Street. Most people who don't know 
don't believe it's possible, because there are 
a couple of churches in the middle of the 
road, and you would think they would be 
in the way. But you can, and it's worth 
knowing. You can win a lot of money 
betting on it with fellows who haven't found 
it out.' And, by Jove, he was perfectly 
right, and it's a thing to remember. Many 
a quid have I " 

Miss Tomlinson gave a hard, dry cough, 
and the guv'nor stopped in the middle of a 
sentence. 

" Perhaps it will be better, Mr. Wooster," 
she said, in a cold, even voice, " if you were 
to tell my girls some little story. What you 
say is, no doubt, extremely interesting, but 
perhaps a littl e a i f '-Lp 

" fflWMfrfttoffli^- " s,oryf 



P. G. Wodehouse 



123 



x 



v* 



\ 



"s , 



X 




M Perhaps it will be better, Mr. Wooster," the said, in a cold, even voice, M if you 
were to tell my girls some little story. What you say is f no doubt, extremely 

interesting, but perhaps a little " 



Story ? " He appeared completely dis- broker and the chorus-girl ? " 

fraught, poor young gentleman. " 1 wonder " We will now sing the school song/* said 

if you've heard the one about the stock- Miss Tomlinson. rising Jike an iceberg* 

UNIVE^ITY OF MICHIGAN 



I2 4 



Bertie Changes His Mind 



I decided not to remain for the singing of 
the school song. It seemed probable to me 
that the guv 'nor would shortly be requiring 
the car, so I made my way back to the stable- 
yard, to be in readiness. 

I had not long to wait. In a very few 
moments the guv'nor came tottering up. 
The guv'nor's is not one of those inscrutable 
faces which it is impossible to read. On 
the contrary, it is a limpid pool in which 
is mirrored each passing emotion. I could 
read it now like a book, and his first 
words were very much on the lines I had 
anticipated. 

" Jeeves," he said, hoarsely,. " is that 
damned car mended yet ? " 

14 Just this moment, sir. I have been 
working on it assiduously." 

" Then, for heaven's sake, let's go ! " 

" But I understood that you were to 
address the young ladies, sir." 

" Oh, I've done that ! " responded the 
guv'nor, blinking twice with extraordinary 
rapidity. " Yes, I've done that." 

" It was a success, I hope, sir ? " 

" Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Most extraordinarily 
successful. Went like a breeze. But — er — 
I think I may as well be going. No use out- 
staying one's welcome, what ? " 

" Assuredly not, sir." 

I had climbed into my seat and was about 
to start the engine, when voices made them- 
selves heard ; and at the first sound of them 
the guv'nor sprang with almost incredible 
nimbleness into the tonneau, and when I 
glanced round he was on the floor covering 
himself with a rug. The last I saw of him 
was a pleading eye. 

" Have you seen Mr. Wooster, my man ? " 

Miss Tomlinson had entered the stable- 
yard, accompanied by a lady of, I should say, 
judging from her accent, French origin. 

" No, madam." 

The French lady uttered some exclamation 
in her native tongue. 

" Is anything wrong, madam ? " I in- 
quired. 

Miss Tomlinson in normal mood was, I 
should be disposed to imagine, a lady who 
would not readily confide her troubles to the 
ear of a gentleman's gentleman, however 
sympathetic his aspect. That she did so 
now was sufficient indication of the depth to 
which she was stirred. 

" Yes, there is ! Mademoiselle has just 



found several of the girls smoking cigarettes 
in the shrubbery. When questioned, they 
stated that Mr. Wooster had given them the 
horrid things." She turned. " He must be 
in the garden somewhere, or in the house. I 
think the man is out of his senses. Come, 
mademoiselle ! " 

It must have been about a minute later 
that the guv'nor poked his head out of the 
rug like a tortoise. 

" Jeeves ! " 

41 Sir ? " 

" Get a move on ! Start her up I Get 
going and keep going ! " I trod on the self- 
starter. 

" It would perhaps be safest to drive care- 
fully until we are out of the school-grounds, 
sir," I said. " I might run over one of the 
young ladies, sir." 

" Well, what's the objection to that ? " 
demanded the guv'nor, with extraordinary 
bitterness. 

" Or even Miss Tomlinson, sir." 

" Don't ! " said the guv'nor, wistfully. 
" You make my mouth water ! " 

JEEVES," said the guv'nor, when I 
brought him his whisky and siphon 
one night about a week later, " this 
is dashed jolly." 

" Sir ? " 

" Jolly. Cosy and pleasant, you know. I 
mean, looking at the clock and wondering if 
you're going to be late with the good old 
drinks, and then you coming in with the 
tray always exactly on time, never a minute 
late, and shoving it down on the table and 
biffing off, and the next night coming in and 
shoving it down and biffing off, and the next 

night I mean, gives you a sort of safe, 

restful feeling. Soothing ! That's the word. 
Soothing ! " 

" Yes, sir. Oh, by the way, sir " 

" Well ? " 

" Have you succeeded in finding a suitable 
house yet, sir ? " 

" House ? What do you mean, house ? " 

" I understood, sir, that it was your 
intention to give up the flat and take a house 
of sufficient size to enable you to have your 
sister, Mrs. Scholfield, and her three young 
ladies to live with you." 

The guv'nor shuddered strongly. 

" You do get the damnedest silliest ideas 
sometimes, Jeeves," he said. 



Next Month: "The Metropolitan Touch." 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



"5 




TH K Cannes 
season was 
o b v id li s 1 y 
flagging. 
Carnival and its 
hectic accompani- 
ments were long-for- 
gotten delights — or 
nightmares. The 
golf competitions 
were done with, and 
the valuable prizes 
had duly passed 
into the grateful 
hands of ladies and 
gentlemen equipped 
with moderate skill 
and astonishing 
handicaps. The last 
of the tennis tourna- 
ments had run its 
belated course in the 
delectable grounds of 
an almost inacces- 
sible hotel ♦ The polo ponies were already 
trekking back to England by way of the 
RL.M. Concours hippique and Dog Show 
were picturesque memories of yesterday. 
Only the yacht races still pursued their 
resolute way, though an entire absence of 
wind had already exhausted public interest. 

Sports and gaieties were, in effect, defunct, 
and all that remained for us to do was to 
enjoy, calmly and rationally, the ever- 
expanding glories of the southern spring. 

In these distressing circumstances we 
were truly grateful when we heard one 
morning that a daring robbery had been 
committed at one of the smartest houses in 
the neighbourhood, the well-known Villa des 
Gerbes. The thieves must have learned 
that a dinner-party was in contemplation 
for that night, and they had laid their plans 
accordingly. 

Whether by design or accident the attack 
occurred at the moment when the guests, 
lulled to a comfortable security of body and 
mind by the procession of the solider courses, 
were engaged in eating asparagus. A lady 
of international reputation (so I was told) 
had just surprised her neighbour by taking 
an asparagus stalk from between her rosy 
lips and smiting him on the cheek with it- 
manners were free in those days — when a 
high-pitched voice called out in French 
from the garden end of the room : — 

' f Keep perfectly still, ladies and gentle- 
men, If anybody moves without orders I 
shall shoot/ 1 



FIFTH 
BANDIT 




HAROLD 
STEEVENS 



ILLUSTRATED E>Y 

W.SMimSONBROADMEAD 



The rattle of con- 
versation instantly 
ceased, the asparagus 
stalk remained poised 
in air, ami every head 
turned in the direc- 
tion of the open 
French wind ow, 
Young Lord Hospers 
swore and pushed 
back his chair, but 
as he scrambled to 
his feet he caught 
sight of a masked 
figure in evening 
dress standing pistol 
in hand in the door- 
way behind him. 
He dropped back in 
his chair again mut- 
tering, " Well, I'm 
hanged." 

Three more masked 

figures now advanced 

into the room and took station round the 

dinner- table. Then the leader spoke again :— 

' l The gentlemen will get up and stand with 

their faces to the wall/' 

HC Oh, 'ell/' cried M. de Bonviveuf, the 
dashing polo player, " I vill not stan* by 

an' ' But four barrels were immediately 

turned upon him, and, shrugging his 
shoulders, he joined his fellows along the wall. 
The ladies were ordered to take off all 
their jewellery and place it on the table. 
The chief brigand then walked round and 
swept off the little piles one after another 
into a bag. What with tiaras, neck hires, 
bracelets, and rings, it was a very pretty 
haul indeed. 

He then returned to his original post near 
the window and announced that anyone 
who attempted to follow would be shot. 
Thereupon his men withdrew and he followed 
them out into the garden. From beginning 
to end the business occupied only a few 
moments. 

No sooner were the robbers fairly gone 
than Lord Hospers, catching up an empty 
champagne magnum and calling to De 
Bonviveur to " Come on ! " dashed after 
them, leaving the two older men to look 
after the ladies, who were now mostly in 
tears or hysterics. 

Englishman and Frenchman ran hastily 
down the veranda steps into the garden. 
But here misfortune befell them. Young 
Ix>rd Hospers, highly excited and unable to 
adjust his eyes to the darkness, tripped on the 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



126 



The Fifth Bandit 



last step and pitched head first into a bush 
of pilosporum — and M* de Bonviveur fell 
on top of him. 

Their language was remarkable, and it 
seems likely that even the retreating bandits 
were startled by the gush of bi-lingual 
expletives, the more so because they were 
unaware of the cause of it. 

From recrimination the two friends passed 
to blows* Before they got down to the 
garden gate the Englishman, smarting under 
the humiliation of the whole affair, lost his 
temper and delivered an open-handed buffet 
on the rotund cheek of De 
Bonviveur. 

The Frenchman, in hot 
anger, sprang back a pace or 
two and then, crouching like 
Georges Carpentier, crept for- 
ward to the attack. In the 
darkness he misjudged his 
distance and his furious swing 
hit nothing but air, where- 
upon he over-balanced him- 
self and fell sprawling in t he 
mid die of the path. 

At once, to Hospers's utter 
astonishment, the French- 
man uttered a joyful cry, 
bounded to his feet, and 
flinging his arms round the 
young nobleman's neck, 
kissed him soundly on both 
cheeks ; next, he seized his 
hands and began dancing 
round and round like a N 19015 
gamin at carnival time. 

Hospers naturally thought 
De Bonviveur had gone sud- 
denly mad ; but he had not. 
For when he fell his hand had lighted on an 
object which, from the feel of it and from 
the slight tinkle of metal which came from 
it, his quick wit told him must surely be 
the bag of stolen jewels. 

Examination proved that he was right- 
Flustered perhaps by the sounds of pursuit, 
and anxious above all things to save their 
skins, the gang had obviously bungled 
things somehow, and the result, from their 
point of view, was this sorry climax to a 
particularly well -executed coup. 

For Lord Hospers and M. de Bonviveur, 
on the other hand, it was a scintillating 
triumph ; they were the heroes of the night. 
The mortification of the ladies vanished like 
morning dew when they saw their jewels 
restored to them, and the amour propre of 
the men was comfortably re-established. 

Next day the whole region was buzzing 
with the affair, During the course of the day 
I spoke with several of those who were 
present at the dinner-party, and the account 
which I have Eiven is a condensation of what 



they told me* A fatuously distorted version 
got into the newspapers, of course, but as 
nothing had been actually lost the local 
police were not called in. Discretion is 
always best in such cases ; inquiries are 
apt to prove inconvenient, 

I need only add that it transpired that 
about the time of the robbery a motor -car p 
presumed to contain the bandits, was seen 
travelling at high speed in the direction of 
Grasse and the mountains. 

A poor but, I hope, fairly honest governess, 
like myself, had no claim to share in the 




delicious thrill of apprehension which several 
ladies who possessed valuable jewels — and 
some who did not- — now professed. The idea 
prevailed that so capable a gang would not 
rest content with their failure, but would 
endeavour to retrieve it, either in Cannes or in 
some other neighbouring resort. 

However, nothing happened, and before 
very long the subject was reluctantly 
labelled " stale " and excluded from con- 
versational currency; 

THE last of the Belle Place bah masquis 
was now due, and I went down into the 
town one morning to get a black velvet 
mask. First of all 1 went into a little shop 
in the Rue Grande (which is so narrow that it 
must have been named by ° the rule of con* 
trary"), but the wizened old Cannois patron 
said he had not such a thing in the place, 
"If madame will return about next 

Christmas " he added, facetiously* 

" Whv haven't vou got any ? " I asked 

»,#TtOTCHIGAN 



Harold Steevens 



127 



" It was a young gentleman, a man very 
gay/' he answered, HP who some days ago 
bought all I had left." 

" Without doubt he was the bandit 
chief," I said, sarcastically. 

"But no— he was a sufficiently rich 
young man ; an Englishman obviously, and 
with a sufficiently curious voice/' He spoke 
the last few words in a mimicking sing-song 
tone which suggested a young horse neighing. 
Then he began to chuckle, but suddenly, 
as if he felt that he had already said too 
much, his face became serious and prim. 



came pounding into the lounge* which is 
really a spacious hall, with every symptom of 
alarm. 

"MmieutSt dames f*' he cried, in sten- 
torian tones, " ks cinq bandits de Cannes 
sent ici ! Sauvez-vous ! " 

The babel of chatter and laughter stopped 
at once ; the strains of the indefatigable 
band in the gallery wavered and died away ; 
the dancers ceased to weave their kaleido- 
scopic web of lovely form and colour, and 
several of the ladies gratefully sought the 
protecting embrace of their partners. In 




" Au rtvoir, madame," he said, with a 
bow. 

1 had to go on to the Rue d'Antibes and 
pay a higher price, which did not please me, 
and I thought of that sufficiently rich young 
man with acute dislike, 

The ball was crowded ; there was no other 
function that night except Prince Rupert 
of X. J s bridge- party, which did not concern 
us lesser mortals. Everybody seemed to 
realize that it was the last fling of the 
season, and behaved accordingly — very much 
accordingly in some cases, I fear. The 
crowning thrill came towards midnight, 
when the stout Swiss concierge, who had 
never been known to M lose his wool " before, 



The curtain was pushed aside and 
through the gap came five masked 
men with pistols in their hands. 
They quickly ranged themselves in 
line and raised their weapons. 



a word, the scene which a moment before 
had been palpitating with gaiety and life 
was suddenly smitten with the wand of 
immobility. 

I am not a nervous person, but my hands 
tightened involuntarily on my partner's 
arm when the cane-and-bead curtain which 
divided the lounge from the entrance hall 
was pushed aside and through the gap came 
briskly one after the other five masked men 
in immaculate evening dress with pistols in 
their han^.^We w^tetificj.lfi^cinated while 



VEPWSTOra 



128 



The Fifth Bandit 



they quickly ranged themselves in line and 
raised their weapons. 

I saw my partner's face harden (it was 
Hubert Ingleby, if you want to know, and 
he was a matador, while I was a pierrette), 
and his eyes began to blaze as he disengaged 
my hand and pushed me behind him. I 
saw him gather himself together for a dash 
at the brigands — quite the matador touch ! 
— and I had actually put out my hand to 
stop him, when the five pistols came sharply 
down to the " present," every barrel flew off, 
and out of every butt poured a shower of 
sugar comfits. 

The strained silence was incontinently 
broken by a burst of jangling laughter — 
savage, hysterical, mirthful, according to the 
humour or the nerves of the laugher. The 
impudent young rascals bowed their acknow- 
ledgments. Two or three of the revellers 
went up and began to rate them for playing 
such a prank, but the spirit of fun was strong 
upon us and laughter won hands down. 
The pseudo-bandits speedily mingled with 
the dancers, the band struck up, and all was 
gay once more. 

I made a point of dancing with the 
chief. 

" A pretty fright you gave us, Mr. Bandit," 
I began. 

" Not you ! " he answered, shortly — a pose 
of silence was apparently a part of the game. 
As we whirled past his companions I 
noticed that the other girls were no more 
successful in encouraging confidences than I 
was myself. 

All the same there was one thing which 
I was determined to find out, and I had 
no compunction in putting the ques- 
tion point blank to my uncommunicative 
robber. 

" Were you the man who bought up all 
the black masks at Filou 's ? " 

" Who told you that ? " The counter 
question came sharp enough this time. 

" Filou," I said. 

" The dirty rascal, after taking my " 

he checked himself, but I knew what he 
meant, and I went on, maliciously : — 

" But he didn't say it was you that 
tipped him to keep quiet. You've just 
told me that yourself." 

He saw that he had given himself away, 
and burst out into the very same neighing 
snigger that old Filou had mimicked. I 
laughed at him. 

" But isn't it a good take off ? " he asked, 
to cover his slip. 

" First rate. You managed it very well. 
It's a risky game to play, though, after 
that business at the Villa des Gerbes last 
week." 

Again he laughed his silly laugh, but he 
said no more. 



I SAT out the next two dances with Hubert 
Ingleby. He was still rumbling with indig- 
nation, like an uneasy sea after a storm, 
and I knew that a quiet talk with me would 
calm him more than anything else. But I 
was intrigued myself, too, and so soon as he 
left off railing and his eyes began to wander 
contentedly over my face and dress, I 
switched back to the subject on my own 
account. 

" Do you think there is anything in it, 
Mr. Ingleby ? I mean, more than meets the 
eye ? " 

" How so ? " — quizzing me with half- 
closed eyes. 

" Well, you know that women have queer 
intuitions, and I have a feeling that there's 
something more than the jest of a single 
night in this bandit turn." 

" Go on, Miss Capel, and tell me what's 
in your mind," he said, peering at me with 
his characteristic expression of alert 
sympathy. 

I told him about my visit to the Rue 
Grande and my talk with the old Cannois 
shopkeeper, and I also described exactly 
my conversation with the " bandit chief" 
a few minutes ago. 

" Why should he tip the old fellow to 
keep his mouth shut if he only wanted to do 
a stunt at this ball ? And it's a queer coin- 
cidence, isn't it, that he should have had 
this plan in his head before the hold-up at 
the Villa des Gerbes, and nearly a fortnight 
before the ball ? " 

" Why, yes, of course it is " — Hubert's 
eyes began to kindle ; " and now that you 
remind me of it, I always thought there 
was something fishy about that hold-up. 
Everything is possible, but I never could 
see a pukka gang of bandits leaving the 
plunder behind like that." 

" I believe it's the same gang," I said, 
plunging as women love to do and watching 
his face to see how he took it, " and the 
affair at the Gerbes was a hoax just like 
to-night's ! " 

41 By Jove," cried Hubert, and I heard the 
cane chair rend as he sat up straight and 
tense, " I shouldn't wonder if you're right. 
We'll soon settle it. Where are the blighters?" 

He looked keenly round the hall, scanning 
the dancers. But the black opera hats and 
well-cut swallow-tails were nowhere to be 
seen. 

" They've made themselves scarce ; I'm 
not surprised. Come on, and let's see what's 
become of them." 

We dodged our way through the dancers 
and made for the entrance-hall. The portly 
concierge, that omniscient mortal, had re- 
sumed his post and his imperturbability ; 
he stood behind bis desk gazing through 



the 



open glass 



into the garden 



Harold Steevens 



129 



with a contented smile on his bearded 
face. 

" Accomplice of bandits, where are they?" 
Hubert accosted him. 

" They are just gone off with the swag," 
replied he, chuckling over his witticism and 
his English slang. 

" S-ilSrat ! " cried Hubert. Then he 
whispered to me : " Put on your cloak as 
quickly as you can and come down to the 
garden. We'll run 'em to earth." 

I went off humming a tune, but as soon 
as I got upstairs to the deserted corridor 
I flew along to my room, jerked off my 
pierrette cap, kicked off my satin shoes and 
slipped on an old pair of tennis shoes, 
snatched up a scarf and a black satin cloak, 
and in a very few moments reached the 
garden by way of the escalier de service. 

Hubert was waiting. Like me, he had 
changed into tennis shoes, and instead of his 
three-cornered hat he wore a cloth cap above 
his mask ; but from neck to ankles he was 
still the matador. We went down over the 
tennis courts, to avoid the lighted path, 
and slipped out of the gate into the road. 

" There they go ! " said Hubert, looking 
up the hill towards La Bocca railway 
bridge, where a red tail-light was just 
topping the brow. " My two-seater is just 
here in the annexe. Will you come ? " 

" Rather ! " I said. 

IN a very little time we had breasted the 
hill and were running down the farther 
slope. The road was quite deserted and 
Hubert's car was in splendid order, as usual ; 
we simply flew along. 

After the heat of the crowded ballroom, the 
cool night air was perfectly delicious. When 
I had enjoyed a few moments of this ecstasy 
I began to ask myself what we were about ; 
what was Hubert's plan of action, if any ? 

But he was humped over his wheel with 
his eyes glued on the road ahead, driving 
for all he was worth, and I did not interrupt 
him. 

As we debouched on to the plain we 
shaved past the garde champetre leisurely 
cycling his rounds and nearly blew him into 
the ditch — we had no lights and never noticed 
him until we were close beside him. He 
yelled, and I just saw him double over his 
handle-bars and begin pedalling like a 
track-racer. Then we shot away from him. 
Before us, far down the road, glimmered 
the red tail-light of the bandits' car. 

Suddenly it disappeared. " Damn ! " 
said Hubert (he must have forgotten my 
presence !), but he never slackened speed and 
drove recklessly forward through the dark 
tunnel of the overhanging trees. 

From force of habit my eyes wandered 
over the dim plain in search of the pictur- 

VoL lxiY.-8. 



esque old pines of Ranguin, always great 
favourites of mine. The pines were indis- 
tinguishable, but what I did see away on 
our right was a little speck of red, the only 
bit of light on all the plain. 

" There they go ! " I cried, pointing across 
Hubert's face. 

He glanced aside for the fraction of a 
second, then pulled out his clutch, jammed on 
his brake, and brought the car round in a 
frightful sweep. I really thought we were 
done for ; it was lucky the road was dry. 

A narrow culvert, not much wider than 
the car itself, bridged the ditch and led into 
a lane down which the bandits must have 
turned. As we came round, our near hind- 
wheel actually left the road and dipped 
over the ditch, then bumped against the 
edge of the culvert and jumped on to the 
road again. The car rocked and staggered, 
but the luck was still with us ; Hubert 
kept control, and in a moment or two we were 
buzzing along the lane, all out. 

Neither of us had the least idea where 
it led to, though, judging by the red light 
which was now travelling away in front of 
us, it seemed to loop back in the direction 
of the town After the smooth route 
nationale the going was rough, and presently 
I felt that something was wrong. Hubert 
grunted — another swear-word, I fear, by 
the sound of it — and brought the car to a 
standstill. _. 

" Tyre's gone flat ! " he snapped, and was 
out in the road in a jiffy, unstrapping his 
spare wheel. ^ 

I jumped out to^help. It was not very 
easy in the darkness even with the aid of 
the big French sulphur-matches (the best 
in the world for outdoor use) which I 
struck and held up one after the other 
while Hubert worked. 

" Must have been that confounded ditch," 
he said ; then presently, "I'm sure I don't 
know what I'm hurrying for. We've lost 
them now, that's certain." j 

" Never mind," said I, " we've had a 
jolly run." 

" Rotten ass I am to drag you out on a 
wild goose chase like this ! " 

" I wouldn't have missed it for any- 
thing ! " 

" Well, that's that," said Hubert, brushing 
his hands together to knock off the dust. 
" Now we'll tootle back. Come to think 
of it, I don't know what we could have done 
if we had caught them. Shall we follow 
along this old lane ? It ought to take us 
the right way, by the look of it. We'll have 
a shot at it." 

" Rather I " I said. " I hate turning 
back." 

It was the curliest road that ever was ; 
at one time it seemed to be leading us out. 



uii 1 a 1 1 iui 1 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



13° 



The Fifth Bandit 



into the black wilderness, and I confess that 
I began to feel a wee bit anxious. Then we 
turned about the fiftieth corner, and there 
far away on the left were the tiny faint 
lights of Grasse on its platform under the 
mountains, and right in front of us the first 
scattered houses of Cannes. 

" Good old Cannes ! " cried Hubert, with 
a sideways scrutiny of me. I took it as his 
expression of solicitude and relief, but I was 
admitting no past qualms. 

" Jolly old place ! " was all my response. 

Now we were trundling down the hill 
through the decorous region of the big 
villas, with a gentle land breeze at our backs. 
I was thinking of nothing in particular 
except that I felt as happy as a queen. 

" This is Prince Rupert's," I said to 
Hubert when we were driving past a high 
bamboo thicket perched behind a long stone 
wall. " I wonder if his bridge-party " 

Thefri quite involuntarily I clutched 
Hubert's arm, for as we ran by the gate I 
had caught a glimpse of the red tail-light 
of a big Car close in under the bamboos. 

-"Did you see it ? " I gasped. " That 
car in the drive? I'm sure it's theirs." 

Hubert pulled up sharply. 

" By Jove ! " he said as he jumped out, 
*• I wouldn't be surprised. What a woman 
you are for intuitions ! That's the car 
right enough," he whispered, after a brief 
inspection outside and in ; " seats still warm 
afcd a terrible smell of ' gaspers.' Hal-lo ! 
That settles it ! " 

" What have you found, Seflor Sherlock 
Holmes ? " I whispered back. 

For answer he quietly closed the door, 
went back td the tail-light, and thrust into 
its dini red glow one of the toy pistols 
which? the bandits had used with such 
grotesque effect at the Belle Place ball less 
than two houts ago. 

" Come on, pierrette. You take the 
itturderous weapon — and don't hesitate to 
use it ! Come along up and see the fun." 

He took my Hand and we groped our way 
cautiously up the black drive. 
- I knew the ground pretty well because I 
had visited the villa several times with my 
small charges, who were playmates of the 
Princess's children. I was also on good 
terms with the Prince, who loved the English, 
and during his long dynastic exile had spent 
a considerable part of every year at his 
borne in the English shires. 

Our rubber-soled shoes made no noise at 
all on the well-rolled gravel and the night 
was as still as it could be. We crept along 
with ears astretch for the slightest sound. 
The night air and the excitement together 
made me shiver and I felt Hubert's strong 
hand tighten on mine. After a minute or 
two of this slow progress we saw the lights 



of the house through the bamboo stems and 
were able to get on faster. Not a soul was 
to be seen. 

EMERGING at length from the drive we 
stopped to listen. For one moment we 
heard nothing at all except the faintest 
rustling of the bamboos behind us. Then 
the silence was sharply broken by the same 
high-pitched falsetto voice that I seemed 
to know so well. Every word came distinct 
and clear : — 

"Messieurs, mesdames, restez tout-a-fait 
tranquil les." 

" Now for it, Sylvia," murmured Hubert 
at my ear, and his use of my Christian name, 
which I might have resented at another 
time, seemed curiously natural just then. 
Pulling me by the hand, he ran lightly 
across the garden towards the open French 
window of what I knew to be the card- 
room. 

I shall never forget that picture : it' was 
as good as the best stage scene I ever saw. 
Three tables were going — or, rather, had 
been going until a few moments ago. Now 
the dozen players were sitting back in their 
chairs as still as if bound by a spell. 

Over each table hung a shaded electrolier, 
which threw a bright illumination upon the 
cards and upon the hands of the players, 
but left their faces in shadow. In convenient 
shadow, too, were the masked faces of the 
bandits and their levelled pistols. One of 
them was standing at the farther end of 
the room with his back against the door, 
three stood near the tables, and the leader 
commanded operations from a position 
three or four yards from the window where 
we stood. His back, of course, was turned 
towards us. 

44 The gentlemen will rise from their 
places "he was saying in his silly, sing- 
song voice. 

I disengaged my hand from Hubert's, 
slipped into the room, and glided quickly 
along the wall towards the tables. 

Imust have been a surprise to everybody, 
though not, I fear, an altogether welcome 
one. My white tennis shoes, black stockings, 
and the lower half of my black pierrette skirt 
with its big white rosettes were in bright 
light ; the rest of me was dim — black satin 
cloak, pink fleecy wrap, and the mask which 
I had never thought to remove. My 
" pistol " I held hidden under my cloak. 

That horsey-voiced ass stopped in the 
middle of his sentence (with his mouth open, 
I should think, though I did not stop to 
look), while the players, whose nerves had 
already received one nasty shock, stared at 
me as if I were a ghost. 

I went straight up to the Prince and stood 
between him and the nearest bandit. In 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Harold Steevens 



J3 1 




Pulling me by the band, he tan towards the open French window of what 1 knew to 
be the catdtoom. 1 shall never forget that picture. 

xJ by LjOOglC UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



132 



The Fifth Bandit 



the half-light his face looked ghastly grey ; 
it must have been as white as a sheet in 
reality, and he shrank back in his chair when 
I bent down to speak to him. 

11 I'm Sylvia, your Highness," I murmured 
as distinctly as I could ; " Sylvia, the 
English governess. Please come nearer ; 
I want to whisper in your ear," and sticking 
out my elbows so as to spread my cloak 
as wide as possible, I put one hand on his 
shoulder and whispered : — 

" I believe it's all a hoax. I'm sure it is. 
Take this pistol — it's only a dummy — keep 
it out of the light. Stand up, and order them 
to put their hands up ! " 

While speaking I poked the butt of the 
pistol into his shirt front under the cover of 
my cloak. He fumbled for it with icy fingers, 
found it and gripped it. 

" Quick, your Highness, quick ! " I threw 
all the will which I possessed into the 
whispered words. 

The leader of the bandits had now re- 
covered from his surprise ; perhaps he even 
smelt a rat. " Will that young woman — — " 
he began, with his affected bandit courtesy. 

" Now, your Highness, now ! " I gripped 
the Prince's shoulder and gave it a shake. 

His amour propre was touched at last. 
He sprang up as if an electric wire had 
shocked him, nearly bowling me over in his 
sudden excitement. He certainly knew 
how to make a scene of it once he began. 

"Put up your hands, all of you ! " he 
cried in his rich, dramatic voice, " or I shall' 
fire. " He brought up his pistol with a flourish, 
holding it above the electrolier where the 
shadow was deepest;" One! . . Two! . . " 
He was really doing the thing in style. 

" Bravo ! bravo ! " cried two or three of 
the guests. " Eep eep ooray ! " shrilled a 
little foreign lady. 

It was altogether too much for the 
pseudo-bandits. Up went five pairs of 
hands towards the ceiling. 

" Monsieur le Due, have the kindness to 
collect the weapons. With your left hands 
remove your masks ! " 

Ruefully they proceeded to do as they 
were bid. There was a little pause while 
the guests bent eagerly forward to scrutinize 
the features of their discomfited tormentors. 
Then cries of indignation and derision 
broke out. Two or three people started up 
with the apparent intention of chastising 
the hoaxers on the spot. 

Four of those shamefaced desperadoes I 
knew perfectly well by sight and name ; 
they were young sparks of good family 
and notoriously ready for any fool jest that 
offered an outlet for their wild animal 
spirits. I shall not name them now because 
every one of them has since made full 
reparation for this and every other folly 



which he may have committed in the days 
before the Great Test came to prove the 
fibre of our youthful aristocracy. 

The fifth bandit was a mystery. He was 
older than the rest and the cut of his jib, 
as the sailors say, was altogether different. 
Beside their open and, truth to tell, some* 
what simple countenances his expression 
was concentrated and purposeful. 

I had noticed that while obeying the 
Prince's orders he alone had moved, as it 
were by accident, a step or two closer to 
the table by which he had first stationed 
himself, until now he was within arm's 
length of the nearest player. She was a 
foreigner and a stranger to me, but even iii 
the shaded light I. could see that she was a 
woman of much beauty. 

She was also richly dressed, and had I 
been an amateur bandit, the load of jewels 
which she carried upon her person woul4 
have tempted me to turn professional on th£ 
spot. In particular, she wore a magnificent 
rope of pearls, of great size and perfectly 
graded, which trailed their exquisite luStri 
over her white neck and bosom and cam* 
to rest in her lap. ? 

THE old Duke, as requested by the Prince, 
had already collected four of the mock 
pistols, and was approaching this' fifth 
bandit with a sarcastic jest upon' his lips 
when the man, instead of giving up hii 
weapon as the rest of the band had done, 
dropped it into his own pocket, turned hi$ 
back on the Duke, and stepped behind the 
handsome lady with the glorious pearls. 

Then, with the speed and dexterity of a 
prestidigitateur, he snapped the fastening 
of the necklace, flicked it up into his leu 
hand under the nose of the astounded Dukev 
and bolted for the open French window. 

But for Hubert he would certainly havi 
reached it and probably have got safely 
away. Hubert, however, believing lik£ 
myself that the whole thing was a stupid 
practical joke, had stayed near the window 
with the idea of blocking the exit of the 
jesters, should they try to escape before 
fitting punishment, or at least contumely* 
had fallen upon them. When the fiv$ 
pistols went up at the Prince's command' 
Hubert's soldierly eye had noticed that thi 
fifth bandit's weapon was much more like 
the real article than the rest, and he had 
therefore watched the man particularly* 
Nevertheless, this lightning turn of events 
was so unexpected that only the Rugby 
footballer's instinct to collar a. flying fGe, I 
firmly believe, made Hubert act in time. 

As the thief darted by, I saw Hubert 
leap in and seize him round the thighs. 
Down they went with a crash, " matador " 
and " swell njobaman " locked together. 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Harold Steevens 



133 




As the thief darted by, 1 saw Hubert leap in and seize him round the thighs. Down 

they went with a crash. 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



134 



The Fifth Bandit 



But the robber was as lithe as an eel ; 
as his hands touched the floor he jerked 
himself forward with such spasmodic energy 
that his legs slid through Hubert's arms, 
and he was free again. He bounded to his 
feet ; there was absolutely nothing now 
between him and liberty. 

Yet, just as his body swayed forward 
for the rush, Hubert's right arm shot out 
and gripped his ankle. Down he came again, 
and out of his pocket spilt the rope of pearls, 
and behold ! a king's ransom went slithering 
along the parquet floor towards the window 
as though in mocking challenge to the thief 
to overtake and win away with it. 

I saw the wild beast leap up in his con- 
torted face. His hand flew to his pocket, 
and quick as thought his pistol was out and 
pointed at my Hubert's body. 

I screamed and covered my eyes. Next 
moment there was an awful explosion, 
followed instantly by a crash of glass. 

For me, that explosion shattered the 
world ; I felt myself drifting out, and I was 
not loath to go, when there was nothing more 
to stay for. Then, as the mists of oblivion 
were closing over me, I heard Hubert's 
voice calling " Sylvia ! " and I struggled 
fiercely back and opened my eyes. Dear 
boy ! even in that moment of peril his 
thought had been for me ; he heard me 
scream and saw me fainting, and he sang 
out to reassure me. 

For by Heaven's mercy Hubert had not 
been hit. What had happened was that 
the pseudo-bandit chief had grasped the 
situation at last, run into the mel£e and 
reached the robber's pistol with his foot 
in the nick of time. The kick sent the pistol 
flying, and the bullet only smashed an 
electric lamp and its Venetian glass shade. 

I opened my eyes in time to see the 
" bandit chief " drop down on to the real 
thief's chest and grab his throat. 

Close behind came his three companions, 
and without hesitation they subsided on 
top of their victim like Westminster school- 
boys on the historic pancake. 

The fellow writhed and struggled — he 
had the strength and agility and ferocity 
of a tiger — and tossed them about like corks 
on a wave ; but they stuck to him gamely, 
and Hubert's grip of his ankle hampered 
him. He gave in at last and lay still, 
savage and panting, with his four erstwhile 
confederates sitting on various parts of him. 
The handsome lady walked coolly over and 
collected her pearls. 

When the men had had a breather, one of 
them went off to get straps from the motor- 
car, while Hubert took his place on the 
desperado's feet. They strapped his legs 
together and his arms to his sides, sat him 
up on a chair, and gave him a drink. Then 

Digitized by V^OOglC 



the Prince plied him with questions, but he 
would not talk. 

Somebody telephoned for the police, and 
while we were waiting the hoaxers made a 
clean breast of it. They told us that until a 
week ago this man had been a complete 
stranger to all of them. They had met 
him first in their favourite American bar, 
and he had at once claimed acquaintance 
with friends of theirs in England. He had 
made himself very agreeable, and was 
apparently the nicest fellow in the world, and 
a thorough good sport, with money to burn. 

Somehow or other he had learned or 
guessed that they were responsible for the 
Gerbes affair, and when one of their party 
after a heavy night in his company had had 
to cry off from the Belle Place stunt, he 
had begged to be allowed to make atone- 
ment by joining in himself. And it was at 
his suggestion that they had wound up the 
night by coming on to the Prince's ; as a 
matter of fact, he had dared them to do it 
and they had foolishly taken his *' dare." 
But who or what he really was they hadn't 
a notion. 

That interesting conundrum was solved 
immediately when the local Chief of Police 
arrived upon the scene. 

" Ah, Lenoir ! " he said, amiably, as soon 
as he set eyes on the man. " We heard 
that you were visiting our charming coast. 
I must congratulate you on the distinguished 
society in which you find yourself ; but 
you never could restrain your passion for 
the aristocracy — and their possessions ! 
Lenoir's reputation, M. le Prince, is inter- 
national, though he does not court publicity ! 
He is a well-known and always desired 
guest in the hotels which the Republic 
maintains for the intermittent accommoda- 
tion of gentlemen who follow his adventurous 
calling. I have to thank you, M. le Prince, 
and the present company also for assisting 
us to recover so enterprising a client, whom 
we cannot endure to lose sight of for any 
considerable length of time ! " 

He signed to three agents de police who 
were waiting in the background. Lenoir 
went out in handcuffs. 

I NEED only add that the courageous 
behaviour of Prince Rupert on this occa- 
sion was so highly pleasing to his people 
(to whom it was suitably reported by the 
gentlemen of the Press) that his return to the 
throne of his ancestors was materially 
hastened. The Prince insisted on con- 
sidering himself under some obligation to 
Hubert and me, and warmly pressed us to 
visit him and the Princess at the picturesque 
old palace of Caresco. Indeed, it was in that 
enchanting environment that we sp^-* ~" 
honeymoon. 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



135 




BY THE 

Leading Players 



TAKE THESE TIPS AND IMPROVE YOUR GAME. 



T 



SMASHING. 

By RANDOLPH LYCETT 
(Winner of many Championships). 
HE secret of correct and " safe " 
smashing is balance, allied, of 
course, to proper foot-work. Per- 
sonally, I am 

poised on my left 

foot when I actually . 

hit the ball, with the 

left or disengaged 

arm extended. This 

" fin/' which I think 

is the best word to 

use in this connec- 
tion, helps one's 

balance according to 

the direction one 

smashes and the 

manner in which the 

ball comes. In my 

own case, all the 

" direction M in the 

shot comes from the 

wrist and not the 

arm. The cut one 

imparts to the ball 

is a great aid to con- 
trol. Generally 

speaking, the ball is 

not hit with the open 

face of the racket, 

but in something of 

the same fashion in 

which one serves. 

Thus there must be 

a certain amount of 

swing behind the 

head aspreparation is 

made to hit the balh 
Why do so many 

players "mess" their 

smashes ? Mainly through mistiming, by 

taking their eye off the balL You must 

concentrate on the stroke to the very 

limit of your powers. Get into position 




for the ball as it rises from your opponent's 
racket, so that you do not have to make 
it running backwards. No good player 
smashes in that fashion. 

As regards practice, there is nothing 
to beat this. Get a ball boy or friend to 
toss balls high in the air over a net to 

you, so that they 
come from all angles 
and altitudes. Even 
now, I find this helps 
my own smashing 
considerably. 



Randolph Lycett putting into practice his 
advice on ** Smashing," 

Photo, Sport and Genrrttt. 



into positk 



THE AMERICAN 
SERVICES. 

By C, S. GRACE 

{The leading English 

exponent of these 

strokes). 

I SERVE two kinds 
of American ser- 
vice, the - Ordi- 
nary" and the " Re* 
verse. M My " Ordi- 
nary American" 
service invariably 
breaks towards the 
receiver's left hand, 
whilst jt he f( Reverse" 
breaks towards his 
right. To serve the 
1 * Ordinary Ameri- 
can " service, I grip 
the racket as I would 
a hammer ; that is, 
with the racket at 
right angles to the 
forearm, and the face 
in the same plane as 
the forearm. 
I then take up a stance near the centre 
of the base line with my left foot at an 
angle of about forty -five degrees to the 
line, and fctuow up tlie ball so that it falls 

YERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




about six inches behind 
my head. Bending 
well back (which is an 
essential part of the 
service, and somewhat 
trying to the abdo- 
minal muscles at first), 
I endeavour to strike 
the ball an upward 
glancing blow with a 
nearly horizontal 
racket, the racket 
moving towards the 
right and finishing on 
that side of the body. 

The face of the 
racket "brushes" the 
back of the ball, and, 
passing upward and over the ball 
obliquely, gives it a spin which 
causes a certain amount of swerve 
of flight, and a high bound on 
striking the ground. 

For the " Reverse American/' I 
grip the racket so that it " faces/' 
and is somewhat inclined towards the direc- 
tion I want to serve the balL My fingers 



1 ennis 1 ips 



Grip for 

"Ordinary 

American" 

service. 




Grip for ** Reverse American M 

service. 



are considerably separated and 
point up the racket handle. I 
then take up a stance with feet 
nearly at right angles to the line, 
so that I am facing in the direction 
I want to serve. I then throw up 
the ball slightly in front of me, and 
move the racket sharply upwards, 
and at the same time 

/I across the proposed 
I direction of flight of 
the ball, from right 
to left, so as to strike 
the ball at the back a 
very oblique and up- 
ward blow, the i-acket 
finishing on the left of 
the body. 

The result is a serve 
that swerves from left 
to right and breaks 
from right to left. As 
the blow is across the 
direction of flight, na* 
tu rally the more vigour 
imparted to the blow, the more 
satisfactory is the result 




C, S* Grace showing position immediately 

before striking ball in " Ordinary American " 

.eivice. 




Position when striking ball io 

American " service* 
Original from 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



Reverse 



By the Leading Players 



THE BACKHAND 
GROUND STROKE. 

By F, GORDON LOWE 
(The Davis Cup International.) 

WHAT may be termed 
the " English" back- 
hand is a very valuable 
legacy left us by the late 
R. F, Doherty and the one 
that I have always en- 
deavoured to use. I do not 
say it is capable of producing 
better results than any of the 
other varieties, but it is as 
efficient, easier to acquire, 
and not so liable to break 
down if an " off N> day occurs. 




137 

stroke, When once 

you have grasped its 

principles, practice 

will make perfect. 

Now for the two 

golden rules which 

must be kept in 

mind when making this 

stroke. 

1, Keep the head of 
the racket above the 
waist. This may be ex- 
aggerated at first, the 
head being gr ad u ally 
dropped as proficiency 
is obtained. 

2, Grip your racket 
comfortably and firmly 
so that the striking face 
is pointing slightly to- 
wards the ground. 

Your thumb may be 
held diagonally across 
the back of the handle* 
By this means power 
will be added, but there 
will be a tendency to 
make the stroke stereo- 
typed. The ball ought 
to be struck with an 
u p w a rd move m e nt of 
the racket and arm. 
The wrist will turn 
the striking face of the 



Contrary to the 
general idea, a 
good backhand 
shotald come more 
naturally than 
the forehand, on 
account of the 
easier swing. A 
great deal can be 
assimilated by 



F. G. Lowe's forehand grip 



Finish of the stroke* 



watching such exponents as A. E. Beamish, 
W. C. Crawley, and possibly myself play this 

Dignized by GGOgle 



racket over until it almost faces the ground 
on completion of the stroke, giving a final 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



138 



1 ennis I ips 



flick to the ball, This upward movement 
will also impart a little top spin, which 
will cause the ball to dip quickly at the 
end of its flight. Never check your body 
or racket at the moment of impact, but let 
both swing through easily with your stroke 
— herein lies the secret of pace, the keynote of 
the modern game* The head of your racket 
should finish pointing 
to the spot in your 
Opponent's court to 
where your return has 
been directed* This will 
give you the correct 
line. 

As a general rule your 
body should be side- 
ways to the net, 
with the left foot 
behind ; before im- 
pact the weight 
should be on this 
leg, evenly balanced 
between the two at the 
moment of striking, and 
swung through on tn 
the right at the finish. 
Glue your eye on the 
ball, which should be 
struck well away from 
your body and about 
in a line with the right 
leg, In a match you 
will seldom have time 
to get into the M book Hh 
position, and you will 
have to make the best 
of the position that 
occurs. The better 
your footwork, the 
better your poise will be. Your body will 
often be facing the net with the left foot 
in front — technically, this is incorrect. 
However, I frequently find myself in this 
position, and I believe my passing shots 
are more difficult to anticipate when made 
from this stance. 

My most paying shot is a backhand one 
down the line, and it has rescued me from 
many a tight corner. Keep this stroke up 
your sleeve for a crisis, as if attempted too 
often, your opponent will learn to anticipate 
it. The backhand cross-court drive is 
easier, for there is generally more court 
to aim for. 

In practice, be continually trying this 
" down the line " shot, as it is a diffi- 
cult one to produce* Perhaps a slight 
drag, made by drawing the racket across 
the ball, in addition to the top spin 
mentioned above, is a help in executing 
the stroke. Knock up against a wall, if 
there is no other form of practice 
available. 

Digitized by L^OOSlC 



i 




M, J, G. Ritchie's base-line diive 

f'Jkufo, JV Jfl ' and Gattral. 



BASE-LINE DRIVING. 

By M + J + G. RITCHIE 
{Ex-Doubles Ckampicm). 
N much the same way as a "long loser '* 
on the billiard table is one of the most 
useful strokes on the board, so are base- 
line strokes at lawn tennis a very considerable 
portion of the back- 
bone of that game. 
To be a really good 
" base-liner " means 
that one can hold one's 
own against almost any 
style of play- No better 
example of the eleva- 
tion to be attained by 
really fine base line play 
can be mentioned than 
A. \V. Gore, winner of 
the Championship no 
fewer than three times. 
On a perfect court a 
first - class base ■ liner 
should theoretically be 
able to beat a first-class 
vol lever. I know that, 
practically, it is often 
the other way round, 
but such a result may 
frequently be ascribed 
to adverse circum- 
stances, particularly a 
bad surface, which 
naturally affects ground 
strokes more than vol- 
leying, 

The three strokes 
principally made use 
of by the base diner 
are the forehand and backhand drives and 
the lob, and it may safely be said that any 
player who can hit powerfully and accu- 
rately in these departments can hold his or 
her own with almost anybody. 

The four principal essentials to success 
in base dine play are keeping the eye on the 
ball, hard hitting, accuracy, and control. 
Equal facility in making strokes on both 
forehand and backhand wings is to be 
recommended — running round balls on the 
weakest wing (if any) in order to utilize 
the stronger one, is not recommended. Good 
drives can generally be brought off with 
more ease hitting obliquely from right to 
left from the forehand and left to right 
from the backhand, these being the natural 
directions of such strokes. 

Besides this r if these strokes are made 
from the vicinity of either end of the base- 
line they will probably cross the net some- 
where near the centre, where it is lowest, 
consequently more pace can be imparted 
with less da.ng(fffRfiT|the ball going put, 

UNIYERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



Side-line drives are rather more difficult, 
because it must be remembered the net 
is higher at the sides and the stroke must 
consequently have more of a lift on it, 
with probably less pace. To get a really 
good base-line drive I find the best way 
is to face the ball in a sideways fashion, 
with left foot advanced for the forehand 
and the right foot for the 
backhand. In lobbing, one 
has to get the racket well 
underneath the ball, and it 
is obviously the desirable 
thing to hit it as high as 



By the Leading Players 



139 



z 





Mrs. Larcombe's backhand drop-shot. She is 

just going forward and down (stooping a little) 

to meet the ball and " block " it. The racket 

does not move any farther on. 



possible to fall near the 
adversary's base-line, 

A good base -liner gener- 
ally makes his base of 
operations a few feet 
behind the centre of 
the base-line, from which 
point he is prepared 
to sprint wherever neces- 
sary. 



Forehand drop- shot. She is just going 
to * stroke " the ball with a slight wrist 
movement, as this shot was made off a 
high bounce and 50 required more spin to 
be put on the ball* 

THE DROP-SHOT. 

By Mrs, E + W. LARCOMBE 
{Lady Champion of 1912). 

T _, HE drop-shot is such a fascinating and 
valuable stroke that I should love to 
help anyone to play it. First of all, 
try to get the right idea. Don't think that 
a drop-shot is played by waiting for the ball 
and then " cutting '* it as short and as 
heavily as you can, That will possibly be a 
short shot, but it will not be the true " drop/* 
The drop -shot is more 
like a half- volley. Its tw T o 
main factors are quickness 
and control — quickness in 
getting on to the ball, and 
absolute control of the 
racket, with a sense of 
" touch " almost as with 
a musical instrument. 

Personally, I hold my 
racket horizontally, its 
Mrs. La r combe's backhand grip face at right angles to the 

ay CiOOgle UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




140 



Tennis 




Tips 

But even that must be quite a little move- 
ment, made just with the wrist— nothing 
at all in the nature of a " swing." 

Personally, I find the drop -shot easier 
backhanded, so it may help others 
to try that way first. 




1. — S. N. Doust demonstrating fehe beginning of 

the backhand ero53-cotirt volley, 

ground, the wrist 
firm, but not 
tense. I meet the ball 
on the rise, not quite 
as near the ground 
for a half -volley, 
but one and a 
half to two feet 
off the ground. 
I let the ball 
meet my racket 
and bounce back 
j ust over the net, 
The racket 
hardly moves in 
any direction. 
It is just held 
w r ith sufficient firm- 
ness to get the right 
strength for the dis- 
tance the ball has to 
travel. 

If the ball is taken soon enough there is 
no need to put extra spin on. The fact 
that it has been taken on the rise will 
make it bounce a little backwards when 
it goes over the net again. 

The really important thing to get into 
your head is the 
stillness of the 
racket. It just 
meets the ball and 
,l blocks p ; it, If 
the ball is taken 
a little later, al- 
most at the top 
of the bound, it 
is wiser to put a 

little extra spin on it. Do this by moving 
the racket a tiny bit downwards, Still 
keeping its face at right angles— almost 
as if you were stroking the back of the ball. 



The position of 
of striking 



ANGULAR VOLLEYING: 

A Prescription. 

By S, N. DOUST 
(The great A ustralian Volley er) . 

THE following is the best way, in my 
opinion, to learn the cross-court or an- 
gular volley : Take one lawn tennis court 
and erect a hard w^ooden fence at a maximum 
of five feet aw ay from the side -fines. Then 
select an opponent who can only be beaten 
by steering the ball hard into that fence, 
and you will gain your points in two ways. 

1. By the ball strik- 
ing the fence, in which 
case it falls "dead/' 

2. By your oppo- 
nent running into the 
fence, in which case 
he generally injures 
himself, and will 
avoid in future balls 
that look likely to 
lead him to hurt him- 
self again. 

That is how I 
learned my cross^ 
court shot. My 
club's court in Aus- 
tralia was confined 
by a fence, and this 
was our objective all 
through a match. It 
racket at the moment was not a thought- 

the ball. " out stroke, but the 




3.- Finhh of the stroke, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



By the Leading Players 



141 



obvious one in the posi- 
tion in which our court 
was rituated. 

When this court was 
sold, the members had to 
go farther afield for their 
lawn tennis ; A. B. Jones 
and my self joined the 
Sydney Lawn Tennis Club. 
We found even on those 
perfect courts that our 
cross-court shots were very 
effective, and were further 
developed as a useful plan 
of campaign. 

Whether this stroke is 
one that lends itself best 
to what is known as the 
"Australian " grip, I Can ~ 
not definitely say, but I 
do believe that we are 
able to get a more acute 
ang]e and greater pace on 
the backhand than players 
who affect the English 
grip. Conversely, the English grip is the 
better for pace and angle when it comes to 
the forearm cross-court volley. 




S. N. Doust's Australian forehand 
grip- 




Backhand grip. Note that the 

same (ace of the racket is used 

lor both grips. 



HOW TO IMPROVE, 

By GEORGE STODDART 

{A successful tournament competitor who has 
greatly improved his game.) 

IN offering a few words of practical 
advice on improving one's game, may I 

point out first of all that there is not in 
the British Isles a single player of inter- 
national rank whose play has been of 
quick growth. By <f quick growth " I 
raean that the game has been started and 
developed to its height in, say, five years 
or so. I am careful to exclude from this 
sweeping indictment the overseas players. 

The reason for our slow development is, 
I think, the lack of facilities for concen- 
tration on the finer points of the game. 
In the U.S.A., for instance, they start at 
an early age, and the beginner has oppor- 
tunities of tuition from champions while 
his growth is carefully recorded each year. 
This means that a whole batch of youngsters 
are feverishly competing against one another 
over there for promotion, thus providing 
the U.S.A. with a relay of over forty men 
equipped with a varied knowledge and the 
inestimable asset of youth. All this may 
sound discouraging to English aspirants, 
but I am fax from being despondent about 



our methods, providing 
that a little more ginger 
is infused into the spirit 
of advancement than has 
been the case hitherto, 
May I give a short ac- 
count of my own struggle 
to improve ? Denied by 
business all games until 
I reached the age of 
twenty -eight, I first took 
up lawn tennis in 1908, 
from which year until 
191 4, by playing in a 
number of tournaments, I 
managed to get down to 
scratch from my original 
mark (in 1908) of receive 
30 in the class B + To 
do this I visited all the 
available professionals 
and made every game 
I played in a matter of 
study. 

My general physical 
qualification not being of the best enables 
me to make this rather bold pronounce- 
ment. It is possible in five years for 
any beginner— up to a reasonable age — 
thirty-: five to forty — -to produce a scratch 
game, while a few tjiore years should see the 
said player better than scratch and begin- 
ning to tread hard on the owe-30 player's 
preserves. 

How is this to be done ? First fix your 
type of stroke for service, overhead play, 
volley, and drive. Half-volleys and lobs 
are somewhat obvious in construction, but 
nevertheless require practice. Study pro- 
fessional methods.- Study all the best 
amateurs' play and draw your own con- 
clusions, Cultivate the critical habit. Be 
able to write an essay on any match. Notes 
should be made on every game you play, 
in which your winning shots and losing 
shots are described. In each successive 
match by this means you can eliminate 
some fault and substitute a good element. 
Learn how to time any shot. Correct 
swing is the correct use of footwork, use 
of the knees, the trunk turn from the hip r 
the use of the free and employed shoulder 
back and through* The use of the upper arm, 
forearm, wrist, the bat face, and, lastly, 
the ball itself. It is thus that one gains a 
firm foundation, 

The times are very favourable for improve- 
ment. I am certain that the beginner of 
to-day can do wonders with determination, 
on the lines" I have laid down. 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



142 



CIRCUMSTANTIAL 
EVIDENCE 



BY 



EDGAR WALLACE 






COLONEL CHARTRES DANE 
lingered irresolutely in the broad and 
pleasant lobby. Other patients had 
lingered awhile in that agreeable 
vestibule. On wintry days it was a cosy 
place, its polished panelled walls reflecting 
the gleam of logs that burnt in the open 
fireplace. There was a shining oak settle 
that invited gossip, and old prints and 
blue china bowls frothing over with the 
flowers of a belated autumn or advanced 
springtide, to charm the eye, 

In summer it was cool and dark and 
restful. The mellow tick of the ancient 
clock, the fragrance of roses, the soft breeze 
that came through an open casement 
stirring the lilac curtains uneasily, these 
corollaries of peace and order had soothed 
many an unquiet mind. 

Colonel Chartres Dane fingered a button 
of his light dust-coat and his thin patrician 
face was set in thought. He was a spare 
man of fifty-five ; a man of tired eyes and 
nervous gesture. Dr. Merriget peered at 
him through his powerful spectacles and 
wondered. 

It was an awkward moment, for the 
doctor had murmured his sincere, if con- 
ventional, regrets and encouragements, and 
there was nothing left but to close the door 
on his patient, 

' You have had a bad wound there, 
Mr, Jackson/' he said, by way of changing 
a very gloomy subject and filling in the 
interval of silence. This intervention might 
call to mind in a soldier some deed of his ; 
some far field of battle where men met 
death with courage and fortitude. Such 
memories might be helpful to a man under 
sentence. 

Colonel Dane fingered the long scar on 
his cheek. 

"Yes," he said absently; "a child did 
that — ray niece. Quite my own fault." 

Digitized by GOOgle 



"A child ? " Dr. Merriget appeared to 
be shocked. He was, in reality, very 
curious, 

" Yes — she was eleven — my own fault. 
I spoke disrespectfully of her father. It 
was unpardonable, for he was only recently 
dead, He was my brother-in-law. We 
were at breakfast and she threw the knife — 
yes," 

He ruminated on the incident and a 
smile quivered at the corner of his thin 
lips. 

" She hated me. She hates me still- 
yes," 

He waited. 

The doctor was embarrassed and came 
back to the object of the visit* 

11 I should be ever so much more comfort- 
able in my mind if you saw a specialist, 
Mr. — er — Jackson. You see how difficult 
it is for me to give an opinion ? I may be 
wrong, I know nothing of your history, 
your medical history, I mean. There are 
so many men in town who could give you 
a better and more valuable opinion than I, 
A county practitioner like myself is rather 
in a backwater. One has the us vial cases 
that come to one in a small country town, 
maternity cases, commonplace ailments — ■ 
it is difficult to keep abreast of the extra- 
ordinary developments in medical science.' 1 

" Do you know anything about Mac- 
honicies College ? " asked the colonel, un- 
expectedly. 

Yes p of course." The doctor was 
surprised, "It is one of the best of the 
technical schools. Many of our best doctors 
and chemists take a preparatory course 
there, Why ? " 

" I merely asked. As to your specialists — 
I hardly think I shall bother them P ' J 

Dr 4 Merriget watched the tall figure 
striding down the red -tiled path between 
the banked flowers, and was still standing 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Edgar Wallace 



i« 



on the door-step when the whine of his 
visitor's machine had gone beyond the 
limits of his hearing. 

" H'm," said Dr. Merriget, as he returned 
to his study, He sat awhile thinking. 

" Mr. Jackson ? " he said aloud. ' I 
wonder why the colonel calls himself ' Mr, 
Jackson ' ? JP 

He had seen the colonel two years 
before at a garden party, and had an 
excellent memory for faces. 

He gave the 
matter no further 
thought, having 
certain packing to 
superintend — he 
was on the eve of 
his departure for 
Constantinople —a 
holiday trip he had 
promised himself 
for years. 




On the following 
afternoon, at 
Machonicies Tech- 
nical School, a 
lecture was in pro- 
gress, 

". , . by this 
combustion you 
have secured true 
Key,, which we 
will now test and 
compare with the 
laboratory quan- 
tities—a d el iq u es - 
cent and colourless 
crystal extremely 
soluble/' 

The master, 
whose monotonous 
voice droned like 
the hum of a dis- 
tant big stationary 
bluebottle, was a 
middle-aged man 
to whom life was no more than a chemical 
reaction, and love not properly a matter for 
his observation or knowledge. He had an 
idea that it was dealt with effectively in 
another department of the college — meta- 
physics — or was it philosophy ? Or maybe 
it came into the realms of the biological 
master ? 

Ella Grant glared resentfully at the 
crystals which glittered on the blue paper 
before her, and snapped out the bunsen 
burner with a vicious twist of finger and 
thumb. Denman always overshot the hour. 
It was a quarter past five ! The pallid 
clock above the dais where Professor 
Denman stood seemed to mock her im- 
patience. 



by LiOOglC 



Dr. Merriget watched the 

tall figure striding down 

the red-tiled path. 



She sighed wearily and fiddled with the 
apparatus on the bench at which she sat. 
Some twenty other white-coated girls were 
also fiddling with test-tubes and bottles 
and graduated measures, and twenty pairs 
of eyes glowered at the bald and stooping 
man who, unconscious of the passing of 
time, was turning affectionately to the 
properties of potassium, 

" Here we have a metal whose strange 
affinity for oxygen — eh. Miss Benson ? — 
five ? Bless nvy soul, so it is ! Class is 
dismissed, And ladies, ladies, ladies f Please, 
please let me make myself heard. The 
laboratory keeper will take from you all 
chemicals you have drawn for this experi- 
ment/* 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i 4 4 



Circumstantial Evidence 



They were crowding towards the door to 
the change room. Smith, the laboratory 
man, stood in the entrance grabbing wildly 
at little green and blue bottles that were 
thrust at him, and vainly endeavouring 
by a private system of mnemonics to commit 
his receipts to memory. 

" Miss Fairlie — phial fairly ; Miss Jones — 
bottle bones; Miss Walter — bottle 
Salter . . ." 

If at the end of his collection he failed 
to recall a rhyme to any name, the owner 
had passed without cashing in. 

" Miss Grant ? " 

The laboratory of the Analytical Class 
was empty. Nineteen bottles stood on a 
shelf and he reviewed them. 

" Miss Grant ? " 

No, he had said nothing about " aunt " 
or "can't," or " pant." ;. 

He went into the change room, opened 
a locker and felt in the pockets of the white 
overall. They were empty. Returning to 
the laboratory, he wrote in his report book : 
" Miss Grant did not return experiment 
bottle." 

He spelt experiment with two r's and two 
m's. 

Ella found the bottle in the pocket of her 
overall as she was hanging it up in the long 
cubpoard of the change room. She hesitated 
a moment, frowning resentfully at the little 
blue phial in her hand, and rapidly calcu- 
lating the time it would take to return to 
the laboratory to find the keeper and 
restore the property. In the end, she 
pushed it into her bag and hurried from the 
building. It was not an unusual occurrence 
that a student overlooked the return of 
some apparatus, and it could be restored in 
the morning. 

HAD Jack succeeded ? That was the 
thought which occupied her. The 
miracle about which every junior 
dreams had happened. Engaged in the 
prosecution of the notorious Flackman, his 
leader had been taken ill, and the conduct 
of the case for the State had fallen to 
him. He was opposed by two brilliant 
advocates, and the judge was a notorious 
humanitarian. 

She did not stop to buy a newspaper ; 
she was in a fret at the thought that Jack 
Freeder might not have waited for her, 
and she heaved a sigh of relief when she 
turned into the old-world garden of the 
court-house and saw him pacing up and 
down the flagged walk, his hands in his 
pockets. 

" I am so sorry " 

She had come up behind him, and he 
turned on his heel to meet her. His face 
spoke success. The elation in it told her 

A 



everything she wanted to know, and she 
slipped her arm through his with a queer 
mingled sense of pride and uneasiness. 

" The judge sent for nie to his room 
afterwards and told me that the attorney 
could not have conducted the case better 
than I." 

"He is guilty ? " she asked, hesitating. 

" Who, Flackman ? I suppose so," he 
said, carelessly. " His pistol was found in 
Sinnit 's apartment, and it was known that 
he quarrelled with Sinnit about money, 
and there was a girl in it, I think, although 
we have never been able to get sufficient 
proof of that to put her into the box. You 
seldom have direct evidence in cases of this 
character, Ella, and, in many ways, circum- 
stantial evidence is infinitely more damning. 
If a witness went into the box and said : 
1 I saw Flackman shoot Sinnit and saw 
Sinnit die,' the whole case would stand or 
fall by the credibility of that evidence ; 
prove that witness an habitual liar, and 
there is no chance of a conviction. On the 
other hand, when there are six or seven 
witnesses, all of whom subscribe to some one 
act or appearance or location of a prisoner, 
and all agreeing — why, you have him." 

She nodded. 

Her acquaintance with Jack Freeder had 
begun on her summer vacation, and had 
begun romantically but unconventionally 
when a sailing boat overturned with its 
occupant pinned beneath the bulging canvas. 
It was Ella, a magnificent swimmer, who, 
bathing, had seen the accident and had 
dived into the sea to the assistance of the 
drowning man. 

" This means a lot to me, Ella," he said 
earnestly as they turned into the busy 
street. " It means the foundation of a 
new life." 

His eyes met hers, and lingered for a 
second, and she was thrilled. 

" Did you see Stephanie last night ? " he 
asked suddenly. 

She felt guilty. 

" No," she admitted, " but I don't think 
you ought to worry about that, Jack. 
Stephanie is expecting the money almost 
by any mail." 

" She has been expecting the money 
almost by any mail, for a month past," he 
said dryly, " and in the meantime this 
infernal note is becoming due. What I 
can't understand " 

She interrupted him with a laugh. 

" You can't understand why they accepted 
my signature as a guarantee for Stephanie's," 
she laughed, " and you are extremely 
xm complimentary ! " 

Stephanie Boston, her some-time room 
mate, and now her apartmental neighbour, 
was a source of considerable worry to Jack 

IVERSITV OF MICHIGAN 



Edgar Wallace 



M5 



Freed er, although he had only met her 
once. A hand some , volatile girl, with a 
penchant for good clothes and a mode of 
living out of all harmony with the meagre 
income she drew from 
fashion plate artistry, 
she had found herself 
in difficulties. It was 
a condition which the 
vise had long pre- 
dicted, and Ella, not 
so wise, had dreaded. 
And then one day the 
young artist had come 
to her with an oblong 
slip of paper and an 
incoherent story of somebody 
being willing to lend her money 
if Ella would sign her name, and 
Ella Grant, to whom finance 
was an esoteric mystery, had 
cheerfully complied. 

" If you were a great heiress, 
or you were expecting a lot of 
money coming to you through 
the death of a relative/' per- 
sisted Jack with a frown, '* I 
could understand Isaacs being 
satisfied with your acceptance, 
but you aren't ! " 

Ella laughed softly and shook 
her head. 

" The only relative I have in 
the world is poor dear Uncle Char- 
tres, who loathes me ! I used to 
loathe him too, but I've got over 
that. After daddy died I lived with 
him for a few months, but we quar- 
relled over — over — well, I won't tell 
you what it was about, because I 
am sure he was sorry, I had a 
fiendish temper as a child, and I 
threw a knife at him.'* 

" Good Lord ! " gasped Jack, 
staring at her, 

She nodded solemnly. 

'* I did — so you see there is very 
little likelihood of Uncle Chartres, ' W 
who is immensely rich, leaving me knife 

anything more substantia] than the 
horrid weapon with which I attempted to 
slay him ! 

Jack was silent. Isaacs was a professional 
moneylender — he was not a philanthropist. 

When Ella got home that night she 
determined to perform an unpleasant duty. 
She had not forgotten Jack Freeder's 
urgent insistence upon her seeing Stephanie 
Boston — she had simply avoided the 
unpalatable. 

Stephanie's flat was on the first floor ; 
her own was immediately above. She 
considered for a long time before she pressed 
the bell. 

Vol Ixfc—IQ 



Grace, Stephanie's elderly maid, opened 
the door, and her eyes were red with recent 
weeping, 

4 What is the matter ? " asked Ella in 
alarm. 

M Come in, miss," said the servant, miser- 
ably. ( * Miss Boston left a letter for you. M 




a fiendish temper as a child, and 1 threw a 
at him/* *' Good Lord t " gasped Jack, 

w Left ? " repeated Ella wonderingly, 
" Has she gone away ? " 

" She was gone when I came this morning. 
The bailiffs have been here." 

Ella's heart sank. 

The letter was short but eminently lucid. 

M I am going away, Ella. I do hope 
that you will forgive me. That wretched 
bill has become due and I simply cannot 
face you again. I will work desperately 
hard to repay you, Ella/' 

The girl stared at the letter, not realizing 
what it all meant Stephanie had gone 

awayl UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



146 



Circumstantial Evidence 



" She took all her clothes, miss. She 
left this morning, and told the porter she 
was going into the country ; and she owes 
me three weeks 1 wages ! " 

Ella went upstairs to her own flat, dazed 
and shaken. She herself had no maid ; a 
woman came every morning to clean the 
flat, and Ella had her meals at a neigh- 
bouring restaurant. 

As she made the last turn of the stairs 
she was conscious that there was a man 
waiting on the landing above with his back 
to her door. Though she did not know 
him, he evidently recognised her, for he 
raised his hat. She had a dim idea that 
she had seen him somewhere before, but 
for the moment could not recollect the 
circumstances. 

" Good evening, Miss Grant," he said 
amiably. " I think we have met before. 
Miss Boston introduced me — name of 
Higgins." 

She shook her head. 

" I am afraid I don't remember you," 
she said, and wondered whether his busi- 
ness was in connection with Stephanie's 
default. 

" I brought the paper up that you signed 
about three months ago." 

Then she recalled and went cold. 

11 Mr. Isaacs didn't want to make any 
kind of trouble," he said. " The bill 
became due a week ago and we have been 
trying to get Miss Boston to pay. As it is, 
it looks very much as though you will have 
to find the money." 

11 When ? " she asked in dismay. 

" Mr. Isaacs will give you until to-morrow 
night," said the man. "I've been waiting 
here since five o'clock to see you. I suppose 
it is convenient, miss ? " 

Nobody knew better than Mr. Isaacs' 
clerk that it would be most inconvenient, 
not to say impossible, for Ella Grant to 
produce four hundred pounds. 

" I will write to Mr. Isaacs," she said, 
finding her voice at last. 

She sat down in the solitude and dusk 
of her flat to think things out. She was 
overwhelmed, numbed by the tragedy. To 
owe money that she could not pay was to 
Ella Grant an unspeakable horror. 

There was a letter in the letter-box. She 
had taken it out mechanically when she 
came in, and as mechanically slipped her 
fingers through the flap and extracted a 
folded paper. But she put it down without 
so much as a glance at its contents. 

What would Jack say ? What a fool she 
had been, what a perfectly reckless fool ! 
She had met difficulties before, and had 
overcome them. When she had left her 
uncle's house as a child of fourteen and had 
subsisted on the slender income which her 



father had left her, rejecting every attempt 
on the part of Chartres Dane to induce her 
to leave the home of an invalid maiden aunt 
where she had taken refuge, she had faced 
what she believed was the supreme crisis 
of her life. 

But this was different. 

Chartres Dane ! She rejected the thought 
instantly, only to find it recurring. Perhaps 
he would help. She had long since over- 
come any ill-feeling she had towards him, 
for whatever dislike she had, had been 
replaced by a sense of shame and repentance. 
She had often been on the point of writing 
him to beg his forgiveness, but had stopped 
short at the thought that he might imagine 
she had some ulterior motive in seeking to 
return to his good graces. He was her 
relative. He had some responsibility — 
again the thought inserted itself, and 
suddenly she made up her mind. 

CHARTRES DANE'S house lay twelve 
miles out of town, a great rambling 
place set on the slopes of a wooded 
hill, a place admirably suited to his peculiar 
love of solitude. 

She had some difficulty in finding a taxi- 
driver who was willing to make the journey, 
and it had grown dark, though a pale light 
still lingered in the western skies, when she 
descended from the cab at the gateway of 
Hevel House. There was a lodge at the 
entrance, but this had long since been 
untenanted. She found her way up the 
long drive to the columned portico in front 
of the house. The place was in darkness, 
and she experienced a pang of apprehension. 
Suppose he was not there ? (Even if he 
were, he would not help her, she told 
herself.) But the possibility of his being 
absent, however, gave- her courage. 

Her hand was on the bell when there 
came to her a flash of memory. At such 
an hour he would be sitting in the big window 
recess overlooking the lawn at the side of 
the house. She had often seen him there on 
warm summer nights, his glass of port on 
the broad window-ledge, a cigar clenched 
between his white teeth, brooding out into 
the darkness. 

She came down the steps, and walking on 
the close-cropped grass bordering the flower- 
beds, came slowly, almost stealthily, to the 
library window. The big casement was 
wide open ; a faint light showed within, 
and she stopped dead, her heart beating a 
furious rat-a-plan at the sight of a filled 
glass on the window-ledge. His habits 
had not changed, she thought ; he himself 
would be sitting just out of sight from where 
she stood, in that little window recess 
which was nearest to her. Summoning all 

her emwiiifaF^ta^N 81111 farther - 



Edgar Wallace 



M7 



He was not in his customary place, and she 
crept nearer to the window. 

Colonel Chartres Dane was sitting at a 
large writing-table in the centre of the room ; 
his back was toward her, and he was writing 
by the light of two tall candles that 
stood upon the table. 

At the sight of his back all her courage 
failed, and as he rose from the table she 
shrank back into the shadow. She saw his 
white hand take up the glass of wine, and 
after a moment, peeping again, she saw 
him, still with his back to her, put it on the 
table by him as he sat down again. 

She could not do it, she dared not do it, 
she told herself, and turned away sorrow- 
fully. She would write to him. 

She had stepped from the grass to the 
path when a man came from an opening 
in the bushes and gripped her arm. 

" Hallo," he said, " who are you, and 
what are you doing here ? " 

" Let me go," she cried, frightened. 
" I— I " 

" What are you doing by the colonel's 
window ? " 

" I am his niece," she said, trying to 
recover some of her dignity. 

"I thought you might be his aunt," 
said the gamekeeper, ironically. " Now, 
my girl, I am going to take you in to the 
colonel " 

With a violent thrust she pushed him 
from her ; the man stumbled and fell. 
She heard a thud and a groan, and stood 
rooted to the spot with horror. 

" Have I hurt you ? " she whispered. 
There was no reply. 

She felt, rather than saw, that he had 
struck his head against a tree in falling, 
and turning, she flew down the drive, 
terrified, nearly fainting in her fright. 
The cabman saw her as she flung open the 
gate and rushed out. 

" Anything wrong ? " he asked. 

" I — I think I have killed a man," she 
said incoherently, and then from the other 
end of the drive she heard a thick voice cry : — 

" Stop that girl/' 

It was the voice of the gamekeeper, and for 
a moment the blood came back to her heart. 

" Take me away, quickly, quickly ! " she 
cried. 

The cabman hesitated. 

" What have you been doing ? " he asked. 

" Take — take me away," she pleaded. 

Again he hesitated. 

" Jump in," he said, gruffly. 

THREE weeks later John Penderbury, one 
of the greatest advocates at the Bar, 
walked into Jack Freeder's chambers. 
The young man sat at his table, his head 
on his arm, and Penderbury put his hand 



lightly upon the shoulders of the stricken 
man. 

" You've got to take a hold of yourself, 
Freeder," he said, kindly. " You will 
neither help yourself nor her by going 
under." 

Jack lifted a white, haggard face to the 
lawyer. 

"It is horrible, horrible," he said, huskily. 
" She's as innocent as a baby. What 
evidence have they ? " 

" My dear good fellow," said Penderbury, 
" the only evidence worth while in a case 
like this is circumstantial evidence. If 
there were direct evidence we might test 
the credibility of the witness. But in 
circumstantial evidence, every piece of 
testimony dovetails into the other ; each 
witness creates one strand of the net." 

"It is horrible, it is impossible, it is 
madness to think that Ella could " 

Penderbury shook his head. Pulling up 
a chair at the other side of the table, he 
sat down, his arms folded, his grave eyes 
fixed on the younger man. 

" Look at it from a lawyer's point of 
view, Freeder," he said gently. " Ella 
Grant is badly in , need of money. She 
has backed a bill for a girl friend and the 
money is suddenly demanded. A few 
minutes after learning, this from Isaacs' 
clerk, she finds a letter in her flat, which 
she has obviously read — the envelope was 
opened and its contents extracted — a letter 
which is from Colonel Dane's lawyers, 
telling her that the colonel has made her 
his sole heiress. She knows, therefore, 
that the moment the colonel dies she will 
be a rich woman. She has in her handbag 
a bottle containing cyanide of potassium, 
and that night, under the cover of darkness, 
drives to the colonel's house and is seen 
outside the library window by Colonel 
Dane's gamekeeper. She admitted, when 
she was questioned by the detective, that 
she knew the colonel was in the habit of 
sitting by the window and that he usually 
put his glass of port on the window-ledge. 
What was easier than to drop a fatal dose 
of cyanide into the wine ? Remember, she 
admitted that she had hated him and that 
once she threw a knife at him, wounding 
him, so that the scar remained to the day 
of his death. She admitted herself that it 
was his practice to put the wine where she 
could have reached it." 

He drew a bundle of papers from his 
pocket, unfolded them, and turned the 
leaves rapidly. 

" Here it is," and he read : — 

" Yes, I saw a glass of wine on the win- 
dow-ledge. The colonel was in the habit of 
sitting in the window on summer evenings. 

IVERSITV OF MICHIGAN 



148 



Circumstantial Evidence 



I have often seen him there, and I knew 
when I saw the wine that he was neat at 
band." 

, He pushed the paper aside and looked 
keenly at the wretched man before him. 

" She. is seen by the gamekeeper, as I 
say," he went on, " and this man, attempt- 
ing to intercept her, she struggles from his 
grasp and runs down the drive to the cab. 
The cabman says she was agitated, and 
when he asked her what was the matter, 
she replied that she had killed a man "* 

" She meant the gamekeeper," interrupted 
Jack. 

" She may or may not, but she made that 
statement. There are the facts, Jack ; 
you cannot get past them. The letter 
from the lawyers— which she says she never 
read — the envelope was found open and 
the letter taken out ; is it likely that she 
had not read it ? The bottle of cyanide of 
potassium was found in her possession, 
and " — he spoke deliberately — " the colonel 
was found dead at his desk and death was 
due to cyanide of potassium. A candle 
which stood on his desk had been over- 
turned by him in his cpnvulsions, and the 
first intimation the servants had that 
anything was wrong was the sight of the 
blazing papers on the table, which the game- 
keeper saw, when he returned to report 
what had occurred in the grounds. There 
is no question what verdict the jury will 
return." 

IT was a great and fashionable trial. The 
court-house was crowded, and the public 

had fought for the few places that were 
vacant in the gallery. 

Sir Johnson Grey, the Attorney-General, 
was to lead for the prosecution, and Pender- 
bury had Jack Freeder as his junior. 

The opening of the trial was due for 
ten o'clock, but it was half-past ten when 
the Attorney-General and Penderbury came 
into the court, and there was a light in 
Penderbury *s eyes and a smile on his lips 
which amazed his junior. 

Jack had only glanced once at the 
pale, slight prisoner. He dared not look 
at her. 

" What is the delay ? " he asked irritably. 
" This infernal judge is always late." 

At that moment the court rose as the 
judge came on to the bench, and almost 
immediately afterwards the Attorney- 
General was addressing the Court. 

" My lord," he said, "I do not purpose 
offering any evidence in this case on behalf 
of the Crown. Last night I received from 
Dr. Merriget, an eminent practitioner of 
Townville, a sworn statement on which I 
purpose examining him. 



" Dr. Merriget," the Attorney-General 
went on, " has been travelling in the Near 
East, and a Fetter which was sent to him 
by the late Colonel Dane only reached 
him a week ago, coincident \<ith the 
doctor learning that these proceedings 
had been taken against the prisoner at 
the bar. , ~ 

" Dr. Merriget immediately placed himself 
in communication with the Crown officers 
of the law, as a result of which I am in 
a position to tell your lordship that I do 
not intend offering evidence against Ella 
Grant. 

" Apparently Colonel Dane had long 
suspected that he was suffering from an 
incurable disease, and to make sure, he 
went to Dr. Merriget and submitted himself 
to an examination. The reason for his 
going to a strange doctor is that he did 
rtot want to have it known that he had been 
consulting specialists in town. The doctor 
confirmed- his worst fears, and Colonel 
Dane returned to his home. Whilst on the 
Continent, the doctor received a letter from 
Colonel Dane which I purpose reading." 
' He took a letter from the table, adjusted 
his spectacles and read : — 

" Dear Dr. Merriget : It occurred to 
me after I had left you the day before 
yesterday that you must have identified 
me, for I have a dim recollection that we 
met at a garden party. I am not, as you 
suggested, talcing any other advice. I 
know too well that this fibrous growth is 
beyond cure, and I purpose to-night taking 
a fatal dose of cyanide of potassium. I 
feel that I must notify you in case by a 
mischance there is some question as to 
how I met my death. 

" Very sincerely yours, 

" Chartres Dane." 

" I feel that the ends of justice will be 
served," continued the Attorney-General, 
" if I call the doctor." 

IT was not very long before another 
Crown case came the way of Jack 
Freeder. A week after his return from 
his honeymoon, he was sent for to the 
Public Prosecutor's office, and that gentle- 
man interviewed him. 

" You did so well in the Flackman case, 
Freeder, that I want you to undertake the 
prosecution of Wise. Undoubtedly you 
will gain kudos in a trial of this description, 
for the Wise case has attracted a great deal 
of attention." 

" What is the evidence ? " asked Jack, 
bluntly. 

" Circumstantial, of course," said the 



Edgar Wallace 



149 




Hallo/ 1 he said, ** who are you, and what are you doing here?'* 



Jack shook his head. 

" I think not, sir/' he said firmly; but 
respectfully. " I will not prosecute in 
another case of murder unless the murder 
is committed in my presence/' 

The Public Prosecutor stared at him. 

" That means you will never take another 



by Google 



murder prosecution — have you given up 
criminal work, Mr, Freeder ? " 

1 Yes, sir/ 1 said Jack gravely; " my wife 
doesn't like it/' 

To-day Jack Freeder is referred to in 
legal circles as a glaring example of how a 
promising career can be ruined by marriage. 

Original from 
UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



15° 



- HORACE v 



c/HW KNIGHT-BRUCE 



" A ND what d'you do 

/\ here ? " the long 
J^ ^ man in the grey '• 

flannel trousers and ** m 
shooting coat looked out of the * » . 
window of the tin hut as he spoke, 
He spent little of hir; time under a roof, and 
when he was there his eyes seemed uncon- 
sciously to secrk open country. 

*' The Lowton links are onlv a couple of 
miles off, sir." A stocky man in unreal 
knickerbockers spoke. 

" That's something. Anything else ? " 
He bent forward to follow the long swoop 
of a hawk across the panes* 

There was silence, while the Mess thought t 
they felt they must uphold the honour of 
the camp before the stranger, 

There's a little cricket at Redling in the 
Hollow/' was the result of the silent brain 
work, ,f but that's about all till the First* , 
Unless you count Horace." This was ob- 
viously an afterthought. 

'■ Horace Who ? " asked the long man, 
who was called Trevor. Major Trevor. 

" There's only one Horace," answered a 
stout man, Prendergast by name, He spoke 
almost with reverence. 

Trevor yawned. ** Ediie regtbus ? " he 
queried, with his hand over his mouth. 

Prendergast grinned. " No, piscibus. Hes 
a trout. Ik? trout." 

" In the big pool below the " 

" But no one's ever " 

" A smasher, a real smasher. Big as 
a ■" 

" And wily as Satan, No one's ever ■" 

" Even Rawlinson only foul -hooked him 
and got smashed. And that was " 

" I wasted three weeks over him." 

" And I wasted a month this year and two 
months — — " 

They had been on the range all day — it 
was a musketry camp — and had just got 
back in time to change for tea and had been 
awaiting its arrival rather sleepily. But the 
word Horace seemed to have roused them. 



ILLUSTRATED^ BY 

AXSMITH 



allowed his eyes 
round the eager 



* Trevor 
to travel 
,* circle, 
*" "He seems well known/' he 
m m * * hazarded. 

"He is," agreed Prendergast, 
" He's the feature of the camp, Raw- 
linson tried for him every summer for years, 
and he's sworn to try again when he Rets 
back from Africa. He was offered a rod cm 
the Test one year, but couldn't bear to 
leave Horace, And there are others, quorum 
pars parva. He's an obsession. Yon fish, 
sir ? " 

41 Sometimes, I suppose I ought to give 
Horace a chance of adding me to his bag," 

" You mu^t. It's the right thing to do. 
Most people go down their first evening. 
And their second. And so on, And the 
wiser they are* the less so on there is/* 

Trevor rose. " Then I must be off. It 
would never do to be out of fashion/' 

" But you'd better have tea, sir/ J put in 
the man in knickerbockers. ,f It's just due. 
And you've had a long walk from the 
station," 

Trevor looked at his watch. " This is 
just the right time," he said. " But where 
does your friend live ? " 

They told him and he strolled out ol the 
Mess. A red setter, lank and rangy as only 
a setter can be, drew back her stricken nose 
as the door opened. She had had it glued 
to the crack. She crouched on bent hocks 
as her soft eyes met his, eager to jump up in 
demonstrative welcome. 

" No, Nell," he negatived. i( Hallo, 
Mc Andrew, you got down all right, then ? " 

M Yes, sir. By the 12. 8 train, last night. " 
Mc Andrew's accent was rich and grating, 
but not to be reproduced phonetically by any 
mere Sassenach. " And at what time will 
you be wishing the horses, the night, sir ? " 

" Er, none. I had thought of riding, but 
Tve changed my mind. I'm going fishing/ 1 

Mc Andrew looked at him dourly. " And 

wl,cre itfMfe!?vmiid?i'sr- 



J. H. W. Knight-Bruce 



151 



■ - In the Becket. Trout, you know." 

" Trout ! " McAndrew's scorn was bitter. 
•■ I thought you said fush. I'll take them 
for an hour on the road." 

There was no hint of interrogation in this 
statement, but more than a hint of dis- 
approval. He was grimly silent for a space, 
then he let drop, as a matter of no particular 
interest, '* May Queen's fat." 

" Yes, I know. I'll have her out and take 
some of it off her in a day or two." 

•' Pig fat. She sweated butter yesterday 
from the station." 

" Well, there's a month yet for her to get 
rid of that." 

11 If she's ridden." 

14 She'll be ridden all right. And I said 
I'd go fishing to-night." 

" You'll be coming to see them first." 

" Yes, come along." 

McAndrew had to be content with that for 
the time. But if his granite face read aright, 
he was not very contented. 

His charges were his pride. And they 
were worthy of it. 

Trevor looked at them and went away, 
leaving McAndrew to his task. And Nell 
and he went back to the tin huts and he 
unstrapped a much-used greenheart from his 
golf clubs, -wound a few casts round his old 
tweed hat, and wandered off. At four and 
a half miles an hour. 

THE Becket was a lovely stream. Both 
for an artist and a fisherman. It dipped 
uncertainly down from the great granite 
hills in laughing joy, too happy to care what 
course it took so long as it hurried on fast 
enough. Then, as it aged, it developed 
purpose and flowed steadily and soberly 
down the rolling vales. Now hedged in 
between banks of its own cutting, now 
rustling over pebble shallows, but only 
occasionally pausing in its purposeful way to 
swing aimlessly round the stillness of some 
great pool. 

Barron Pool was one of these. Becket 
purled straight and fleet and narrow for three 
hundred yards above it and felt it had 
earned a rest. It narrowed still more to 
shoulder through the high granite bridge 
that carried the road over it without a pier. 
The bridge was high. Why, no one knew, 
for Becket never flooded. But the road 
seemed to check at the bank and buck over 
the stream like a green horse, when it might 
have much better skimmed it in its stride. 
But there is no accounting for roads ; any 
more than there is for green horses. 

From the bridge foot the water widened, 
silent, deep, and dark. And it escaped 
thoughtfully, without any undue hurry, at 
the far bottle-neck end. 

And somewhere in between lived Horace. 



The top of the pool was open and Trevor, 
Nell down charged behind, walked up to 
that end and jucked in a cast of flies. They 
alighted well (he was a pretty caster) and 
went circling down to the bank. He drew 
them up-stream, swung them behind him and 
let them go again. With no better luck. 
He fished carelessly down the pool and then 
reeled in. He was not a careless fishermaln 
as a rule, but he really had come out for the 
walk. Horace had only been its excuse. 

11 Well, Nell, we haven't wiped their eyes 
this time, have we ? Come and see what 
else there's doing." 

There seemed quite a lot. The small fry 
down -stream were rising eagerly, and Trevor's 
waterproof poacher pockets were soon full of 
grass and quarter-pounders. He had brought 
no bag. 

He stayed on, held by the magic of the 
deepening twilight, till the little stream was 
purling almost unseen beneath him and he 
had to judge his recoveries by guesswork. 
He who has fished on through the dusk in 
the shrill ripple of a stream will know how 
he stayed. And perhaps why." 

" Come along, Nell, we'll have to hurry," 
he said, as he took the road, clanging beneath 
his nailed heels. "Or we shall be late for 
Mess. I rather wish I'd spent more time 
over that big 'un. It's annoying to be 
beat." 

As he opened the door of his hut there was 
a gurgle and splash of falling water. Private 
Foster had through long experience learnt to 
a nicety the art of getting his master ready 
for Mess in an incredibly short time. The 
bath ready, he disappeared. As the splashing 
died down he reappeared and held out a 
white shirt. Trevor dived into it and out 
the other side, while Private Foster produced 
the Wellingtons, ready boot -hooked and with 
the overalls doubled down over them to 
their spurs and back to their tops. Three 
seconds disposed of them, and Private Foster 
was ready with white collar in one hand and 
black tie in the other. And a second later 
with blue waistcoat and red Mess jacket. 

His master was a source of pain to him. 
He had been a soldier for twenty-two years, 
and the ignominy of being late on parade was 
deeply bitten into him. Mess was a parade : 
he knew that. And he would see to it that 
his master wasn't late for it. Hence this 
elaborate system, which took ten and a half 
minutes exactly. If the Major arrived at a 
less time than that before eight, Private 
Foster would permit himself an expostula- 
tion. He did so to-night as he handed over 
the white-topped cap. 

" Beg pardin, sir, but would you explain to 
the Mess Sergeant?" 

" Call me a,t four/" sa.iid Trevor, as he put 
it on. " Explnin vkat'^j^^asked. 



152 



Horace 



" 'Bout my being kept, sir, I shaH be 
late for waiters' parade/* 

"Oh, are you waiting to-night ? Ye*, I 
see you're in livery. Tell the Sergeant I'm 
sorry, you know, and it sha'n't occur again." 

Then Private Foster rose. M Beg pardm, 
sir, but Fve a-told 'im that before. 
Frequent." 

" Not Ik is Mess Sergeant, you know/ 1 said 
Trevor, soothingly. " We only came to-day. 
He may believe you/' 

" Yessir/' said Private Foster, doubtingly, 
as the Major jangled away, " And I shouldn't 
mind so much/' he soliloquized as he 

picked up the Major's coat, " Blimy ! 

What's that ? If he 
'asn't a-got 'is pockets 
iull of fish. Like a 
bloomin' conjurer. Well, 
'e is a caution t What 
was I a-thinkin' abaht ? 
Oh, I know. I shouldn't 
mind so much if 'e got 
late for Mess a-drinkin J 
in the ante - room or 
sum mat respectable like 
that. But 'e's out in 
them damn fields all 
day and most of the 
night getting J is clothes 
mucked up 'orrid. 
Always back late, and 
late again to-night. 
The bugles 'as gone five 
minutes/' 

Private Foster was 
right- The long match- 
boarded room was alight 
with different mess kits 
as Trevor came in. 
Prendergast was Presi- 
dent and answered Tre- 
vor's apology with a 
" Not-at-all — sir— What 
—luck ? " 

"None with Horace/' 
answered Trevor, as he 
took the empty place 
next him, 

Prendergast grinned 
delightedly, and a ripple 
went down the table, 
habiiuis of the camp 
passing it down that 
Horace had scored yet 
again, and new hands 
asking who Horace 
might be. 

Then everyone talked 




" Blimy I 
pockets 



bloomin' conjurer. 



Horace and ex- 
plained to Trevor his great record and told 
him stories of his prowess, 

M Why, even Rawlinson only rose him 
seldom, and he was a fisherman/' That 
Beemed the burden of the song. Trevor learnt 



how Rawlinson had in two successive years 
persuaded Horace to suck a brilliantly 
presented May fly in between his cautious 
Jips p only to spit it out in disgust each time : 
how Rawlinson had once, as Horace came up 
to look at a tiny blue dun and then turned a 
somersault round it as a sulky old trout will, 
had once with a lightning strike foul-hooked, 
him, and how then Horace had darted up 
under the bridge and smashed the fragile 
tapered cast against the granite : how 
Rawlinson, driven to desperation p had even 
sunk to lying for hours dapping for him ; 
how Rawlinson had done this : how Rawlin- 
son had done that : how Rawlinson was only 
waiting to come back 
from Africa to do it all 
again : till poor Trevor 
began to get a little 
tired of the name Raw- 
linson. 

" We'll show you his 
record in the Game 
Book after Mess/' pro- 
mised Andrews, the 
man who had worn the 
knickerbockers at tea. 
"It goes back for years. 
Of course the book's 
really only for game 
actually accounted for, 
but anyone who has 
even got Horace to 
take an interest in him 
puts the fact down and 
is prouder of it than of 
creel i n g mos t fish . ' ' 

The great pigskin - 
bound book was given 
to Trevor and he read 
there, amongst totals of 
snipe and pheasant and 
partridge and lesser un- 
baptised fish, the record 
of H orace , Andoftenest 
against the name of 
Horace was the name, 
first of E, G, Rawlinson, 
Royal Loamshire Fusi- 
liers, and then of Cap- 
tain E t G. Rawlinson, 
Royal Loamshire Fusi- 
liers. And in the column 
of Remarks Rawlinson 
had given the fly to 
which Horace had risen, 
or the conditions which 
made him rise, or some 
other help for those on whom his mantle 
might fall. 

"A sportsman, anyhow, "thought Trevor, 
as he went off to bed. 

At the end of the Game Book some pains- 
taking, ^l^^^^rt of analysis 



J. H. W. Knight-Bruce 



of Horace's favourite lures, and as he rolled 
over to go to sleep this table suddenly seemed 
to appear to Trevor as if it had been painted 
in luminous paint on the wall. There it was, 
all neatly squared and headed along the top 
" Wet " with a long bracket under it reaching 
horizontally three-quarters across the table, 
and " Dry " with a shorter bracket, and 
" May " with yet a shorter one again. And 
under the brackets seemed to burn in the 
neat, square printing of the unknown com- 
piler, " Black and Blea," " Prince Charlie," 
"Woodcock and Hare's Ear." " Cock-y- 
bonddhu," " Dotterell and Yellow, 1 ' " Green- 
well's Glory," and others. And divided by a 
neat vertical red line, " Pale Watery Dun 
(f)," "Cinnamon Sedge," "Sherry Spindery 
(m)," "Adjutant Blue," " Rough-bootied 
Olive," "Welshman's Button (f)," and again, 
curtained off by that red line, " Egyptian 
Goose," " Loch Erne May," " Summer Duck 
(Detached Body)," "Green May |m)," 
" Dyed Drake," " Spent Gnat (f)." 

Arid down the side were the months and 
years of Horace's fame, and by casting out 
from the neat numbers spattered over the 
chart such information could be gathered 
as that he had risen once to a Wickham's 
Fancy in June, 19 . 

It was a wonderful chart. 

" Oh, hang it," thought Trevor, irritably, 
as he turned over again, " anyone would 
think I cared about banking the beastly 
thing. What did you say ? " 

* ' Four o 'clock, sir . " Private Foster spoke 
firmly : he knew he had to. There may have 
been some small interval between Trevor's 
two last sentences, but he could not remember 
any. This made him irritable and ill-inclined 
to receive the advance of a lanky figure — 
longer than ever in the rising mist — as he 
went out. 

" And at what time will you be wishing 
the horses the night, sir ? " said the figure. 

Trevor looked at him surlily. This horrible 
Caledonian had got up in the middle of the 
night especially to make him do a thing he 
didn't want to do. 

" I don't think I shall want them to-day," 
he said. And then as the silence grew un- 
bearable, " I thought of going fishing. You 
may take them out again yourself." 

" Fushing ! " seemed to rise bitterly and 
hardly audibly with the cold mist, and as 
cold as it. Then, " You'll be kenning I 
canna ride and lead the noo ? " A ban- 
daged hand was thrust under Trevor's nose. 

" Yes, of course. I hope your cut's 
better." 

Mc Andrew disdained the olive branch, 
but went on relentlessly, " And you willna 
let the soldier mount." Trevor had a 
soldier groom to help with the horses. 

" I will not," said Trevor, firmly. " You 



153 

You 



remember what happened last time, 
and he can lead 'em out." 

" Ay. May Queen's fat." 

" So you told me yesterday," answered the 
Major, politely. " Now I must get on to the 
range." 

" You'll be wishing the horses the morn ? " 

But the Major had escaped at last. 

HE probably would have had them out 
the next day. Only, unfortunately, 
he took such pains this time with 
Horace that that fastidious gentleman 
actually sucked in his Mallard and gold. 
Trevor struck. No fault could be found 
with the striking. But — he was using last 
year's gut, for he had only brought down 
odd scrapments of tackle with him. And 
his cast whipped angrily back at him as 
Horace retired to think out a way of getting 
rid of that very unpleasant thing sticking 
in his upper Up. 

Trevor's interest in Horace had up to that 
moment been rather half-hearted. But he 
had a fault : he could give up no duel with 
the wild if he began it by being bested. 

His regiment had many tales about the 
length to which he would then go. One of 
how, out after an evilly known man-eater, 
he had happened in thick jungle on a herd of 
bison. A snap shot enraged without crip- 
pling the big bull, and Trevor spent some 
hours up a huge peepul tree. Released, he 
gave up the man-eater to the rest of the 
party and disappeared. Three weeks later 
he walked out of the jungle without his rifle, 
and with his arm in a sling, but with the huge 
head borne behind him. The rifle had been 
crushed underfoot in the bull's last red-eyed 
charge. 

So he took the tiny telegraph office on his 
way hopie and wrote out a long telegram 
beginriiRg t "Mrs. Trevor, Green Lawns, 
Lutworpi, Leicestershire. Send immediately 
number, three rod, number two fly box, 
pocket oil bottle " 

" I wonder how he likes the Floaters, Nell," 
he asked as he took the road again. 

Then, of course, he had to explain to 
McAndrew that again the next day he would 
not exercise. It was a dreadful interview 
and it can hardly be given in full. It would 
sound impossible. 

Finally he had to make a clean breast of it' 

" Look here, McAndrew," he tried to ex- 
plain, " I've been broke by this fish and it's 
made me determined he'll be caught. See ? " 

" Meaning you'll not be wishing the horses 
till he is caught ? " 

" Er — no. But I've great hopes of the 
Dry Fly to-morrow." 

" You have ? " McAndrew, dryly scornful, 
turned away 

The next day's firing seemed very long. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



154 



Horace 



wishing the horses till the big fush was 
caught. That fush is caught/' 

" What ? " shouted Trevor. 

11 I was riding May Queen down by the 
wee burn the morning. And thinking, when 




He lifted the sack by its closed end, and Trevor saw through its {olds some heavy 

body roll down to the grass. 



The Horace fever had attacked Trevor badly 
and he rushed as soon as possible to the Mess. 
Yes, there was the rod. He could almost 
feel its few ounces of built cane flipping in 
his hand, Could almost see its polished 
lengths through their protection of paper 
and sacking and stout bamboo case, He 
picked it up and rushed out of the Mess. To 
be met by McAndrew* And the soldier 
groom (" a poor body," McAndrew held). 
And the horses. 

ir You'll be wishing the horses, sir ? " 
McAndrew asked, grimly, Grimly, and yet 
a curious savage subdued joy, seemed under- 
lying his grirnness. 

- ' No, M said Trevor. The worm had t urned . 
He spoke angrily. " I told you so yesterday.' 1 

" You was saying that you wouldn't be 



she gave me time with my one hand, that it 
wouldn't be your father who'd be leaving 
his horses fat before the season to catch a 
fush. And I had a bit piece of string with 
me. And a hook, and on it a wur-r-rm. 
And as I rode over the bridge I loosed them, 
And — well, you'll be seeing/' 

He had a sack by his side. This he lifted 
up by its closed end, and Trevor, horroi 
growing with slow comprehension, saw 
through its folds some heavy body roll down 
its length to the grass. But half the neck of 
the sack yet lay on the ground and guarded 
the secret of what it held. McAndrew's 
hand holding the other end, began to rise 
inexorably. 

" Don't ! " uleaded Trevor, " Oh, pkase, 



155 




/'hot*?, tvpitriffht KttfitQt't Kicii Co. 



EDISONiS VIEWS 

UPON VITAL HUMAN PROBLEMS 



S5- 



■5ft- 



-&r 



An Interview given to Shaw Desmond 
for the readers of" The Strand Magazine/ 3 



A GIANT steel-framed building that 
looked as though it had been made 
of metal frames laid on the ground, 
cement -filled, like teeth, and so 
reared into position ; ten thousand wheels 
humming like angry bees ; an old deal table, 
worth perhaps five shillings : and at the 
table a gentle, beautiful old gentleman with 
the most wonderful smile on earth. 

That was Thomas Alva Edison, the world's 
greatest wizard, as I found him in his labora- 
tories at West Orange, New Jersey, to ask 
him for his views upon the problems facing 
the human race— those vital problems which, 
in the opinion of many of the first thinkers 
and scientists, will decide once and for all 

W«fH rzghu 



whether our White Civilization is to go on or 
go under. 

As I looked at the kindly, grey-blue eyes 
and saw the head slue round to smile with 
that shrewd, all-embracing smile, the non- 
sense of " the Edison legend " burst upon 
me. The real Edison was not a remote, 
heavy -faced scientist, but a very human man. 

" What I want to know," I said, shouting 
into his right ear (Edison has been very deaf 
ever since, as a newsboy, he was lifted by a 
brutal train conductor from his feet by his 
ears), after we had shaken hands and I had 
gingerly taken a seat at the old table in 
the midst of J hat humming floor and the 

srnttly reserved. 



156 Edison's Views Upon Vital Human Problems 



to the unwary, " is the problems which you 
regard as the most important to the race, 
what you are doing to solve these problems, 
how you think the next war will be fought, 
and whether your experiments with your 
' spirit-finder ' for the purpose of seeing if 
life goes on after death have met with 
success." 

Edison just laughed at me, his face light- 
ing up at the " fool questions " — or rather at 
the way in which I had lumped together a 
mass of questions that would and did take 
some hours of answering and explanation. 

" Before I can answer those questions in a 
way that would be intelligible to you or your 
readers," he said, in a voice so low that it 
was difficult to catch the words above the 
hum of the machinery, "I want to explain 
to you and the world something of my 
methods. It is so hard," he added, 
almost wearily, " to get the world to under- 
stand. 

THIRTY YEARS ON ONE EXPERIMENT! 

" In the first place, I work upon fifteen or 
twenty things simultaneously. Upon some 
of them I have been working for thirty years 
without success " (someone had told me that 
Edison had made upon one problem alone 
some ten thousand separate experiments !). 
" They embrace all branches of science. I 
do not concentrate upon the problem of any 
single branch to the exclusion of others." 

As he spoke it came to the listener what it 
must have meant for a man to work thirty 
years upon a single problem and still inde- 
fatigably to pursue the road to the unknown 
goal — a goal that might never be reached. 
One of the great man's assistants told me 
that such a work meant the initiation and 
abandonment of, literally, thousands of ex- 
periments, hundreds of sleepless nights, with, 
at last, perhaps failure complete. 

" You know," went on the inventor, " the 
popular idea that an inventor is a man who 
sits in an arm-chair with wrinkled brow 
waiting for a brain-flash has no existence in 
fact. The idea for a new invention may come 
in a flash, but in the vast majority of cases 
it comes through desperately hard and often 
financially thankless work extending over 
years. The goal attained, there yet remains 
the scarcely less and often much more diffi- 
cult task of making the invention ' prac- 
tical.' " 

An excellent example of this is " wireless 
telegraphy." Hertz had a brain-flash about 
the " Hertzian waves," but if Marconi had 
never come along to make it commercially 
applicable, the Hertzian wave might as well 
never have existed. 

Edison himself, really, although it is 
almost unknown, was the pioneer in " wire- 



less " so long ago as 1875, when in his experi- 
ments upon " Etheric Force/' although he did 
not realize it at the time, he had the germ of 
wireless telegraphy and harnessing the world 
by electric wave-lengths. It is, however, 
the Edison genius for the " practical " which, 
as a rule, makes his inventions so fascinating. 

"SYNTHETIC WHEAT " 

I wanted to get Mr. Edison's ideas upon 
the possibility of the future scientist making 
everything from rubber to wheat syntheti- 
cally. It is constantly being prophesied that 
the human race will soon abandon the beef- 
steak for the tabloid, and the loaf for " con- 
centrated essence of wheat." 

" Early in 1915," he said, " when the war 
stopped the supply of benzol to the* States, 
I found it essential to solve the problem of 
manufacturing synthetic carbolic acid, and 
to do so had to secure an even supply of the 
essential benzol. I had, after experimenta- 
tion, my first benzol plant in operation 
within forty-five days." (Up to this time 
it had taken nine months to instal a benzol 
plant.) 

" In March, 1915, working day and night, 
and bringing pressure upon everybody, from 
workman to department chief, I installed 
and operated, within forty-five days also, big 
plants for rubber, and also was making 
synthetic carbolic acid at the rate of seven 
thousand pounds a day." 

If wheat ceased to grow upon the planet 
to-morrow, Edison would probably invent 
" synthetic wheat " within a month or so, 
with which he would feed the world. He 
does not know the meaning of "can't." It 
is certainly quite within the bounds of possi- 
bility that within a generation or two the 
inventions of men like Edison will enable 
the human race to " live synthetically " if it 
prove desirable, and to " make " every- 
thing, from clothes to food, without going 
either to the sheep or the plant for them. 

EDISON SOLVES THE LONDON TRAFFIC 
PROBLEM. 

Before coming to the epoch-making pro- 
blems, I pointed out to the great man that 
amongst the most urgent and " irritating " 
problems facing the inhabitants of great 
cities like London and New York was the 
traffic problem. It has been repeatedly 
asserted that London, for example, through 
the impossibility of farther crowding of the 
streets with motor-buses and the similar 
impossibility of burrowing farther under- 
ground, had reached her limits of expansion. 
What was his solution ? I ventured to give 
a solution of my own. It was " to go up 

intoWMMERSI'TY OF MICHIGAN 



An Interview by Shaw Desmond 



157 



I was once more astonished to find how 
Mr,' Edison, in solving this urgent, dangerous 
problem, not only, so to speak, did not " go 
up in the air," but kept his feet upon solid 
earth, and even rooted them deep in that 
earth. 

" You have been suggesting/' he said, 
" that the way to solve the London problem, 
for example, is to take the foot passengers 
up to the roof-tops in elevators from central 
clearing stations, each elevator to hold four 
or five hundred people, place them in electric 
passenger boats slung from overhead cables, 
much as the modern electric tram is driven, 
and so transport them easily and evenly out 
to suburbs stretching twenty to thirty miles 
out or more. But I ask you the following 
question : 4 Why go up in the air when it is 
possible to go down into the earth ? ' " The 
grey-blue eyes twinkled. 

" But," I replied, " the earth in London, 
for instance, is already so honeycombed that 
buildings like St. Paul's Cathedral are 
beginning to subside." 

" Then go deeper," was his comment. 

" What is to prevent people going down 
two or three or five hundred feet ? What 
does it matter if a man takes four or five 
seconds more on the downward journey than 
it takes him at present to reach the Tubes ? 
Why not lay underneath London a spider's 
web of * tuppenny tubes ' — and then, if 
needs be, another web of tubes underneath 
that again ? " 

He then showed how, at the " rush hours," 
the whole floating population of London, 
instead of the usual nightly orgy in their 
attempts to reach home and rest, could be 
cleared out of the heart of the city within 
the space of an hour or two without crowd- 
ing or inconvenience. 

" In London you are built on chalk," said 
Edison. " Then go down into the chalk — 
which is as easy to excavate as it is to scoop 
the heart out of a soft Stilton. Build your 
tubes deeper and multiply them as much as 
you like. 

44 What the engineers have done in the 
deep-level mines of the Transvaal they can 
do in London. Of course, it is not un- 
feasible ' to go up in the air,' as you suggest; 
but here in America, for example, and even 
in London, heavy storms are constantly 
causing trouble to overhead cables and wires. 
Go down. That is the solution." 

"WE SHALL HARNESS THE EARTH." 

Since Professor Rutherford has " split the 
atom " and so possibly unleashed the begin- 
ning of the limitless power known as " atomic 
energy," it has been predicted by various 
scientists of the first rank that humanity is 
about to enter upon a new age, in which such 
costless energy will cause cyclonic changes 



in the life of the average man. This I ven- 
tured to put to the one man in the world 
who could give a really definite answer to 
the question as to whether we were on the 
threshold of " power without cost." 

" Quite apart from atomic energy," said 
Thomas Alva Edison, " the motion of the 
earth alone as it turns on its axis and sweeps 
through space would give us all the light, 
power, and heat that we want, and a thousand 
times over." 

" But is there any chance we shall ever te 
able to harness this source of power, which 
really means driving the earth in harness ? " 

" Some day," said Edison, after careful 
thought, " we may harness that motion. Not 
only that, but one day we may harness the 
rise and fall of the tides and imprison the 
rays of the sun." (Incidentally, this last has 
already been accomplished, upon a small scale, 
by Tesla, the great American electrician.) 

I ventured to indicate that if ever mankind 
did so harness these limitless sources of power 
it would at one stroke wipe out all differences 
between Capital and Lalxmr, simply because, 
labour-power being abolished through such 
unlimited, costless power, and the price to 
be paid to labour being to-day the only bone 
of contention between the workman and the 
employer, the Labour Question would cease 
to exist. 

Edison smiled his inscrutable smile of the 
child as he spoke in that low voice of his in 
answer to my remark. 

" Struggle is inherent in humanity, not 
only upon questions of wages and hours, 
but upon questions of infinitely greater im- 
port and sweep. It is certainly inherent 
between the man who has and the man who 
hasn't — between the ' Haves ' and the ' Have- 
nots.' The coming of limitless cheap power, 
as it will one day come, will not change that 
inherent vital principle so deep in humanity 
which is the mainspring of evolution. How- 
ever limitless such power, however easy of 
application, no human being can live long 
without work. Individuals, here and there, 
may do so for a time, but eventually the 
restless, struggling human will find work of 
one kind or another to do. The pleasure of 
idleness is one of the great superstitions of 
the world. Such work may not always take 
the same form — but it will be work, what- 
ever its form." 



HIS VIEWS UPON THE LABOUR PROBLEM. 

And then this kindly gentleman, smiling 
in gentle derision, used the following notable 
words : " The trouble^ between Capital and 
Labour is that the workman does not grasp 
the complexity of the modern system of 
manufacture and production, and the thou- 
sand and one problems attaching themselves 

"IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



158 Edison's Views Upon Vital Human Problems 



to such a power-problem as that to which 
you refer. Also, the capitalists have too 
many - stinkers ' among them." 

His face lighted up in one great, illumi- 
nating smile as he used the expressive word. 

He made it quite clear within a few sen- 
tences that he personally could not conceive 
of any real change in the modern competitive 
system— or perhaps, rather, in the principle 
of competitive stress as the great spur to 
evolution being replaced by something 
entirely different. One felt, however, that 
Edison would be quite prepared to guarantee 
a living wage, and so secure the life-standard 
for all workmen, if the workman on his part 
would guarantee to do his utmost when at 
work. Once more, it is the humanness of the 
" Wizard " which makes him so attractive. 

His close friend, Mr. W. L. Saunders, who, 
during the great war, helped him in the 
running of the Inventions Bureau, told me 
a characteristic story of this " humanness." 

It seems that some time ago it was decided, 
at an international gathering of iron and 
steel experts in the United States, that a 
pilgrimage should be made to the man who 
is regarded throughout the world by his 
scientific comrades with reverence as the 
doyen of them all. Mr. Saunders, the chief 
of the Ingersoll Drill Company, and one of 
the greatest living engineers, happened to be 
with Edison at the very moment when they 
both discerned in the distance a confused 
mass of eminent iron and steel experts pour- 
ing up the avenue to pay their respects to 
the great man. 

Edison, with the extreme modesty that is 
his, turned around in despair looking for a 
place to which to flee, and was only with 
difficulty brought back to the realities of the 
situation by his friend, who stood by his side 
as a long line was formed of the visitors, who, 
each of them, as he shook hands with Mr. 
Edison, by this tiire in a perfectly bewildered 
condition, presented his card. After a while 
the inventor's hand was full of cards, of 
which he relieved himself as well as he could 
by handing them to his friend. At last, 
however, he could stand it no longer, and 
throwing all the cards in his hand into the 
fireplace, he fairly bolted to his workshop 
below, \frhere his friend found him on his 
knees before a new electric rock drill, which 
he declared would put Mr. Saunders himself 
" out of business " — this with the glee of 
a child. He had completely forgotten his 
eminent visitors. 

TERRIFYING MACHINE TO END WAR 
FOR EVER. 

The one intellect in the world which might 
conceivably be able to abolish war from the 
earth is that of Edison, 



M There will one day," he said to me, 
" spring from the brain of science a machine 
or force so fearful in its potentialities, so 
absolutely terrifying, that even man, the 
fighter, who will dare torture and death in 
order to inflict torture and death, will be 
appalled, and so will abandon war for ever." 

Edison does not believe for one moment 
that we are at the end of wars. On the con- 
trary, he made it perfectly clear that in his 
view the world is just on the very edge of 
new and gargantuan wars, wars in which 
civilization itself may disappear. 

" My solution for war," he said, with quiet 
emphasis, " is not Peace Congresses alone. 
It is ' preparation.' Preparation, not provo- 
cation, and this preparation or preparedness 
may one day involve the discovery of some 
terrific force, some engine of war the employ- 
ment of which would mean annihilation for 
the opposing forces. The way to make war 
impossible is for the nations to go on experi- 
menting, and to keep up to date with their 
inventions, so that war will be unthinkable, 
and therefore impossible. War is the desper- 
ate, vital problem of our time. ; 

" War will never be made impossible until 
men are convinced by definite demonstration 
that it is impossible, Germany, in particular, 
must be shown that any dreams she may 
entertain of revenge, and of * whipping 
France,' cannot materialize, that the world 
even now has such .weapons that the dream 
of a new Teutonic World Power can never 
be revived, that mankind has passed the 
stage of the 'goose-step' and the sword. 
War has already been made an affair of 
chemicals, and no longer a picturesque 
display. The instant that it can be demon- 
strated to the German brain that with the 
new inventions, even though she may wipe 
out her enemies, she herself will in that 
moment also be wiped out, she will see the 
futility of war and revenge." 

THE COMING WAR OF POISON-GAS. 

And then Mr. Edison said, slowly and with 
emphasis : " The next great war will be 
fought out with poison-gas. Gas and the 
aeroplane will be the decisive factors. 9 ' 

Being anxious to get his views upon what 
has been regarded by so many scientists as 
the force which will probably, by reason of 
its terible possibilities, make war impossible 
— atomic energy — I asked Mr. Edison whether 
there was any prospect, now that Professor 
Rutherford had split the atom, of unleashing 
such energy, which is of such potency that 
the atomic energy in half a glass of water is 
said to be strong enough to lift the British 
Navy to the top of Mount Everest ? 

The great inventor said : " So far as I can 
see, we have- not ^et reached the point where 



An Interview by Shaw Desmond 



*59 



this exhaustless force can be harnessed and 
utilized. There is nothing to hang the 
imagination on. It may come some clay. 
As a matter of fact, I am already experi- 
menting along the lines of gathering infor- 
mation at my laboratory here." 

On being informed that an 4t atomic 
engine " was already being advertised in 
England, Mr. Edison laughed. 4i The atomic 



happens that a discovery is made whilst 
working upon quite another problem/' 

The question was then put to Jlr. Edison 
as to whether this energy, once freed, could 
be projected across the Atlantic in the next 
great world -war to destroy war stores and 
human beings in New York, Berlin, or London, 

" There is nothing at all impossible in your 
conjecture- The energy could be turned into 




1 nomas A. Edison at work in his laboratory. 

Photo. o*p\f tight Ktyiiw* Viev Co. 



engine is still only a dream/' he said. " It is 
the French scientists who are always sending 
these things ouL 

<- Before we manage to harness atomic 
energy, ive shall solve other problems. We 
shall possibly utilize the motion of the earth 
through space. Another source of enormous 
power, already harnessed, is that of the 
volcano, and as a matter of fact they are 
already getting some thousands of horse* 
power from the volcanoes in the Apennines — 
the backbone of Italy. 

** So far as atomic energy is concerned, 
there is nothing in sight just now/' Mt. 
Edison paused a moment, and then added, 
thoughtfully, as though visualizing some- 
thin g t *' Although to-morrow some dis- 
covery might be made. Some quite dis- 
similar but collateral problem might open 
up this field by accident. Very often it 



electricity and projected not only across the 
Atlantic, but flung from any part of the 
world to any other part, Neither the 
Atlantic nor anything else could interpose 
an obstacle. The force residing in such a 
power 15 gigantic and illimitable.*' 

In reply to the question which half the 
world is asking : M Would the coming of such 
a force, by reason of its horrible destructive- 
ness, abolish war by frightening mankind 
out of it ? " Mr. Edison, after thinking a 
moment, said, emphatically :— 

M Even without atomic energy war might 
be made impossible by new poison-gases and 
aeroplanes of new and powerful types." 

A TERRIBLE PREDICTION. 

It was at ilhifi point that Thomas Alva 
Edison^p^^^^^i^^Rve to be the 



i6o Edison's Views Upon Vital Human Problems 



most historic and terrible prediction that has 
ever been uttered by the lips of a human 
being. It having come to my knowledge 
that in the latest experiments upon a develop- 
ment of Lewisite, the world's most deadly 
poison-gas, both the Germans and the 
Japanese had made extraordinary progress, 
I asked Mr. Edison the following series of 
questions : — 

(i) Had he or any other inventor dis- 
covered any effective counter to the aero- 
plane ? 

(2) Was it a fact that anything from 
twenty-five to fifty modern 'planes loaded 
with the new poison -gas would be able 
without effective interference to fly over 
London or New York ? 

(3) Whether, if this were possible, the 
dropping of the new gas could kill by suffo- 
cation some millions of people without gas- 
mask or other preventive being able to stop 
it? 

Edison, in his matter-of-fact way, which 
always carries conviction, answered these 
questions seriatim, but with a kind of deadly 
certainty which left no room for doubt. 

" Neither I nor anybody else, so far as^I 
know, has discovered any counter to. the 
aeroplane, even in its present stage. There 
is nothing to prevent a flotilla of 'planes flying 
to-morrow over London and spraying Lon- 
don's millions with a gas which can suffocate 
those millions within a comparatively short 
time. Twenty to fifty 'planes should be 
quite sufficient for such work." 

" I have been told that practically every 
man, woman, and child in London, for 
example, could be suffocated to death by 
such a gas within twelve hours. Is that 
possible ? Is it true ? " 

LONDON CAN BE POISONED IN THREE 
HOURS. 

Edison smiled quietly. . " It is not true,'' 
he said. " // could be done in the space of 
three hours ! " 

If this be true, and Edison's obvious belief 
that no effective counter to " the flying 
death " — that is, to the aeroplane — was likely 
to be discovered in our day, it means that 
the next war will no longer be the affair of 
millions locked in a death struggle over a 
period of years, but just an affair of twenty- 
four hours, in which time those millions will 
have met their deaths. It is to this that 
modern war is coming. In a word, it may 
quite conceivably mean that the White 
Civilization which it has taken the centuries 
to build will be poisoned in a night. No 
other conclusion is possible. 

To come from the things of death to the 
things of life beyond death has been the 
concern of the world's greatest inventor 



within recent times. For many millions his 
researches in this field, upon strictly scientific 
lines, will prove the most fascinating. 

The world heard some time ago that 
Edison was at work upon what the world 
called " a spirit- finder," that is to say, a 
machine or apparatus so delicately adjusted, 
so susceptible to the minutest vibration, that 
if such things as spirits might be supposed to 
exist, and really desired to communicate with 
the living, they (the spirits) would find to 
their hands, or voices, " an apparatus which 
would give them a better chance of expressing 
themselves than the modern crude methods 
of tilting tables and ouija boards." The 
words in quotation marks were Mr. Edison's 
own. He sternly repudiates the attempt so 
speciously made to father upon him a belief 
in spirits, as also to make it seem that he was 
a convert to spiritualism. 

" The thing which first struck me," said 
Mr. Edison, " was the absurdity of expecting 
• spirits ' to waste their time operating such 
cumbrous, . unscientific media as tables, 
chairs, and the ouija board with its letters. 
My/convinced belief is merely that if ever 
the question of life after death, or psychic 
phenomena generally, is to be solved, it will 
have to be put on a scientific basis, as 
chemistry is put, and withdrawn from the 
hands of the charlatan and the - medium.' 
. . *' My business has been, and is, to give the 
scientific investigator — or, for that matter, 
the unscientific — an apparatus which, like 
the compass of the seaman, will put their 
investigations upon a scientific basis. This 
apparatus may perhaps most readily be de- 
scribed as a sort of valve. In exactly the 
same way as a megaphone increases many 
times the volume and carrying power of the 
human voice, so with my * valve,' whatever 
original force is used upon it is increased 
enormously for purposes of registration of 
the phenomena behind it. It is exactly on 
the lines of the tiny valve which in a modern 
power-house can be operated by the finger 
of a man and so release a hundred thousand 
horse -power. 

" Now, I don't make any claims whatever to 
prove that the human personality survives 
what we call ' death.' All I claim is that any 
effort caught by my apparatus will be mag- 
nified many times, and it does not matter 
how slight is the effort, it will be sufficient 
to record whatever there is to be recorded. 

MACHINE TO DECIDE LIFE AFTER 
DEATH. 

" This will settle once and for all the claims 
of modern psychic investigators like Sir 
Arthur Conan Doyle and others to have 
definitely effected communication with a 
world beyond the grave. 

UmVtfol IT Oh MILHI'jriN 



An Interview by Desmond Shaw 



U.l 



" Frankly, I do not accept the present 
theories about life and death. I believe, 
rightly or wrongly, that life is indestructible, 
it is true, and 1 also believe that there has 
always been a fixed quantity of life on this 
planet, and that this quantity can neither 
be increased nor decreased, But that does 
not mean that I believe the survival of per- 
sonality has been proved — as yet. Perhaps 
it may be one day. Perhaps some appa- 
ratus upon the lines of my ' valve P may 
prove it, but that day is not yet, nor have I 
as yet secured any results to definitely prove 
such survival, 

" When 1 wrote my original article upon 
my apparatus, and the object for which it 
was made, there went out to the world the 
entirely inaccurate idea that I had invented 
a * spirit-finder.' The fact is that it is almost 
impossible to get people to understand, how- 
ever plainly 
you put any- 
thing/' 

" Then what 
is your concep- 
tion of life, 
Mr. Edison ? " 
I asked, 

f * What I be- 
lieve is that 
Our bodies are 
made up of 
myriads of 
units of life. 
Our body is not 
itself the unit of 
life or a unit of 
life P It is the 
tiny entities 
which may be 
the cells that 
are the units of 
life. Let me 
give you, as an 
example, the 
famous flier, 
the steamship 
Afau re tania 

41 The Mauve- 
tania is not her- 
self a living 
thing — it is the 
men in her that 
are alive, If she 
is wrecked on 
the coast, for 
instance, the 
men get out, 
and when the 
men get out it 
Simply means 
that the ' life* 
units ' leave the 
Ship, but they 

Vol, i*i*_n. 




Edison celebrates his seventy-fifth birthday by punching the 
time-clock as usual in his works at West Orange, N.J. 



by V_ 



tK 



Fhttto. oopyrrpM KevtteM *~*c* Go. 



are not dead yet* And so in the same way 
a man is not ' dead ' because his I udy is 
buried and the vital principle — that is, the 
' life -units '—has left the body. 

f ' Everything that pertains to life is still 
living, and cannot be destroyed. Every- 
thing that pertains to life is still subject to 
the laws of animal life. We have myriads 
of cells, and it is the inhabitants in these cells, 
inhabitants which themselves are beyond 
the limits of the microscope, which vitalize 
and ' run ' our body. 

" The point is that the men who were in 
the Maure tania still live, but they don't Jive 
in the Maureiania. 

" To put it in another way, I believe that 
these life-units of which I have spoken band 
themselves together in countless millions 
and billions in order to make a man. We 
have too facilely assumed that each one of 

us is himself a 
unit, just as we 
have assumed 
that the horse 
or dog is each 
a unit of life. 
This, I am con- 
vinced, is wrong 
thinking. The 
fact is that 
these 'life- 
units J are too 
tiny to be seen 
even by the 
most high- 
powered micro- 
scope, and so 
w T e have as- 
sumed that the 
unit is the man 
which we can 
see, and have 
ignored the 
existence of the 
real life - units, 
which are those 
we cannot see." 
I ventured 
here to ask how 
it was that such 
infinitesimal 
entities could 
carry on the 
tremendous and 
varied work of, 
for example, 
the human 
body. 

" There is 
nothing to pre- 
vent it," the 
great inventor 
said, with as- 
suredness, " for 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i62 Edison's Views Upon Vital Human Problems 



I have had the calculations made, and the 
theory of the electron is, in my view, satis- 
factory, and makes it quite possible to have 
a highly organized and developed entity like 
the human body made up of myriads of 
electrons, themselves invisible. 

MICROBES THAT HAVE MEMORY. 

" Further, I believe that these life-units 
themselves possess memory. If a man 
burns his hand, the skin will grow in exactly 
the same pattern again, and with the same 
lines as the hand originally had before the 
accident. Now, it would be quite impossible 
for those hundreds of fine lines to be meticu- 
lously reproduced if there were no memory 
for detail behind the rebuilding of them. 
The skin does not grow that way and in 
exactly the same pattern again ' by chance/ 
There is no chance/ 1 

"But are all these life-units, or entities, 
possessed of the same memory, or are some, 
bo to speak, the builders' labourers, and are 
others the units which direct those 
labourers ? " 

" It may be that the great mass of them 
are workers and a tiny minority directors of 
the work. That is not a matter about which 
we can speak with any certainty, 

" But what one can say with some assur- 
ance is that these 
entities cannot be 
destroyed, and 
that there is a 
fixed number of 
them. They may 
assemble and 
reassemble in a 
thousand differ- 
ent forms from 
a starfish to a 
man, but they 
are the same 
entities* 

" No man to- 
day can set the 
line as to where 
* life ' begins and 
ends. Even in 




Thomas A. 



the formation of crystals we see a definite 
ordered plan at work, Certain solutions will 
always form a particular kind of crystal, 
without variation. It is not impossible that 
these life -entities are at work in the mineral 
and plant, as in what we call the ' animal ' 
world/' 

DOES MAN SURVIVE? 

The question I then put to Edison was, 
What, in his view, was the supreme problem 



by Google 



in connection with these entities and the 
problem of life after death ? 

,f The thing that really matters is what 
happens to what one may call the * master ' 
e n t it i es — t hose t ha t direct the others . Eighty- 
two remarkable operations upon the brain 
have definitely proved that the seat of our 
personality lies in that part of the brain 
known as the fold of Broca. It is not un- 
reasonable to suppose that these entities 
which direct reside within this fold. The 
supreme problem is what becomes of these 
master entities after what we call death, 
when they leave the body. 

" The point is whether these directing 
entities remain together after the death of 
the body in which they have been residing, 
or w T hether they go about the universe after 
breaking up. If they break up and no longer 
remain as an ensemble, then it looks to me 
that our personality does not survive death 
— -that is, we do not survive death as indi- 
viduals." 

The final question I put to Mr. Edison was, 
" Then, if these life -units or entities break 
up, as you suggest, w T hat becomes of the 
theory of eternal life ? " 

" If they do break up and do not remain 
together after the death of the body, then 
that would mean that the eternal life which 
so many of us earnestly desire would not be 

the eternal life 
and persistence 
of the individual, 
as individual, but 
would be an im- 
personal eternal 
life — for, what- 
ever happens to 
the life-units, or 
whatever forms 
they may assume, 
it is at least 
assured that they 
themselves live 
for ever. 

** I do hope my- 
self that person- 
a 1 i t y survives 
and that we 
persist* If we do persist upon the other 
side of the grave, then my apparatus, with 
its extraordinary delicacy, should one day 
give us the proof of that persistence, and 
so of our own eternal life." 

The great Edison has, we all hope, 
many years of life before him in which to 
accomplish his latest, and what to many 
will seem his most vital, task — the solution 
of the greatest problem in the world — 
whether man lives for ever. 



Original from 
UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



Edison t home* 



iG 3 



THE SINISTER QUEST 
OF NORMAN GREYES 



4$( 



E PHILLIPS 
OPPENHEIM 



C/f ARISES CROM&IE 



No. 9 —MICHAELS WEDDING GIFT. 



By MICHAEL. 

FOR many months after my some- 
what ingenious escape from the 
cafi of Mme, Ponadour in the 
Maritime Quart ier of Marseilles, I 
lived in the Forfrt du Dom t on the far side 
of Hy&res, the life of a dog. There were 
three of us woodmen in the hut — Pierre, 
Jacques, and myself. My two unchosen 
companions, after twenty years of the same 
monotonous labour, had grown very much 
like the trees whose branches we lopped off 
and whose trunks we hauled down the road 
to the mountainous stack whence they were 
fetched by motor-lorry from Nice. These 
two men, so far as I was able to discover, 
possessed no virtues* They cheated at 
cards — we had one filthy pack which had 
lasted them for a year before I came — they 
drank to excess when they could afford the 
wine or the fiery brandy of the country, and 
I am convinced that they would have mur- 
dered anyone for a few francs, if they could 
have been sure of evading detection. Their 
complexions were, as mine soon became, 
almost black. They were c\pds of the earth, 
men ageless and passionless except when the 
wine was in their blood, from whom I hid, 
at the same time and with equal discretion, 
my thoughts and my purse. 

I grew to look upon my queer fancy 
for them as a phase of weakness, a sign of the 
marching of the years. For I was under no 
misapprehension concerning myself and my 
position in the world. Sometimes, whilst 
the others slept, I read the newspapers, 
which we obtained W T ith difficulty from the 
neighbouring village ; read of myself as the 
most notorious criminal at large ; read of all 
the world-famed detectives of London, Paris, 

Copyright, 1923, by E, 



and New York, who had sworn to effect my 
capture J read of my crimes, my daring, my 
cunning ; read of all these things outside my 
shanty on the hillside — and smiled. Given a 
certain amount of resignation and patience, 
and I knew very well that I was safe as long 
as I chose. There, however, was the trouble. 
Corduroy trousers and a woodman's smock 
were not to my fancy as articles of dress. 
Nor did I care about dark bread and soup, 
apples and sour wine, as a means of keeping 
body and soul together* There was money 
for me in London, plenty of it, I knew that 
to reach that money I should, before long, 
come out into the open and challenge once 
more the world of my enemies, 

One day a chance incident set me thinking. 
We had paused for a second to fill our pipes 
with filthy tobacco, barely a dozen yards 
round one of the hairpin corners of the forest 
road, leaving our wagons, as usual, in the 
middle of the thoroughfare. Suddenly a car 
swung round the corner, travelling too fast 
for the driver to apply his brakes with 
safety. With great skill he passed us, 
grazing the Jong trunks of the lopped trees, 
and escaping the precipice by a matter of 
inches. The chauffeur drove on, turning 
round for a moment, however, to shake his 
fist and shout abuse at us. I waved my 
hand in friendly fashion, for the incident had 
given me an idea, That night I saw that 
Pierre and Jacques drank more than their 
usual share of the sour wine, and afterwards 
I propounded my scheme, 

" Comrades/' I said, " it is a dog's life we 
lead/' 

They growled assent. 

" To-day," I continued, i( an idea came to 
me. If our w T agons had been an inch or two 
nearer the outvie corner of the road, or the 

Phiiiips fWWtPfelTY OF MICHIGAN 



i6 4 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



man in the car a shade less skilful, he could 
not possibly have escaped. His car would 
have been smashed, and he would have gone 
over the edge of the precipice." 

The men made strange noises in their 
throats and continued to listen. 

" It is a dog's life, this," I repeated. 
" What we need, to make things endurable, 
is money — money, so that you two can go 
down to the cafi at the foot of the hill and 
drink brandy with the daughters of the 
village, they who leave you now so unkindly 
alone because you have nothing to spend upon 
them." 

Their pipes were out of their mouths now, 
apd they were listening intently. 

" A man like that one to-day would have 
money — a pocket-book. Whilst he was un- 
conscious, look you, we would take it. One 
of us would bring it up here, here where there 
are a hundred hiding-places, in the ground, 
the trees, the cracks of the earth. A pocket- 
book which is lost, is lost. What do you say, 
comrades ? " 

There was no doubt about how the scheme 
appealed to them. Jacques was showing all 
the fangs of his yellow teeth in one tremen- 
dous smile. Pierre's round, black eyes were 
lit with a covetous gleam. 

" It would be an equal share between the 
three ? " he urged. 

" Between the three," I agreed. " Leave 
the details to me." 

WE went to our work the next morning 
with a new zest. All the time that we 
were at work in the forest, lopping the 
branches from the fallen trees and piling them 
on to the wagons, we were thinking of what 
Fortune might have in store for us on our 
homeward crawl. When, at last, the time came 
to start, my two companions seemed more like 
human beings than at any time I had known 
them. They marched stolidly but hopefully 
on by the side of the horses. I, having the 
better eyesight, watched the winding road, 
down in the valleys below and up on the hill- 
side. We crawled round each corner, loiter- 
ing at the psychological spot always with the 
same evil hope in our hearts. The affair, 
however, was not so easy. Sometimes we 
were seen from above or below, sometimes, 
drivers were too careful. On the fourth day, 
however, success rewarded our perseverance. 
A small car which I had spotted from a 
distance came round the corner where we 
were, so to speak, anchored, driven with that 
full measure of recklessness which only a 
Frenchman, anxious to save his engine, can 
obtain. There was a wild cry from the 
driver, a crash into our wagon, and over went 
the car and man down the side of the preci- 
pice. It was an agreeable sight. 

It was I who clambered down to where our 



victim was lying, and drew a pleasing- 
looking black pocket-book from the inside 
of his coat. Afterwards I felt his heart and 
discovered that he was alive. I ordered 
Pierre to move the wagons over to our own 
side of the road, and we secreted the pocket- 
book amongst the timber we were carrying. 
Then we waited for events, and, although I 
really cared not in the least whether the man 
lived or died, I found myself, to my surprise, 
bathing his head and loosening his clothing. 
Presently a public touring car from Cannes, 
on its way to Hydres, arrived. The accident 
was explained, room was made for the 
injured man, and a liberal pourboire given us, 
collected amongst the passengers. After- 
wards we made our way home, and, later on, 
when we had lit our evening fire, we opened 
the pocket-book. There were nine hundred 
francs there, and I shall never forget the evil 
faces of my two companions, in the light of 
the dancing flames, as they leaned over and 
watched me count the notes. I divided the 
money into three portions, but I spoke to 
them as a master. 

" Listen, Jacques, and you, Pierre," I 
said. " I am a man of justice, but, although 
I am one of you, I have travelled beyond 
these forests, and I know the world. If you 
take this money with you to the village 
to-night, you will be drunk, the truth will 
be known, and we shall all go to prison. I 
will swear to you the woodcutter's oath, the 
oath across the flames, that your share shall 
be saved. But go to the village to-night 
with twenty francs each, the pourboire given 
us by the Englishmen, and let me keep the 
rest for you, or hide it for yourselves." 

They had just sufficient wit to realize that 
I was their superior in intelligence, and that 
my advice was good. So we growled an 
oath in the strange dialect of those parts, 
and I gripped their gnarled and knotted 
hands, which reminded me always of the 
roots of the trees we felled. Afterwards, I 
went down to the village with them, had one 
drink for good fellowship's sake, and returned 
to the shanty and solitude, with a bottle of 
the best brandy and some tobacco. I drank 
moderately, as I have always done in life, 
but the brandy was good to my palate, and 
the tobacco better. I lay at my ease on the 
outskirts of the clearing, sipped my brandy, 
and smoked and thought. Dimly though 
the beauty of my surroundings appealed to 
me, they filled me with only a negative joy, 
I thought of the great cities with their 
thronged thoroughfares, their mighty roar 
of turbulent life, the crowded parks, the 
theatres, the opera, with its wonderful 
music which I had always loved, the voices 
and laughter and presence of beautiful 
women. I would win my way back to 
these yet. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



165 



OUR next adventure, engineered in similar 
fashion to the last, brought us a matter of 
a couple of thousand francs. This time, 
however, there was trouble, for the driver's 
neck was broken as he pitched head foremost 
from the seat of the car, and his wife, who 
was only slightly injured, gave vigorous 
evidence as to the position of our wagon and 
the disappearance of her husband's pocket- 
book after we had dragged his body up from 
a ledge of the precipice. A gendarme from 
the neighbouring village visited us that 
same night, and made a careful search 
through our belongings. There was nothing 
to be found, however, and by preserving a 
stolid silence and leaving all speech to me, 
my companions escaped suspicion just as I 
did. Afterwards, however, I spoke to them 
seriously. 

" Comrades," I pointed out, " this game is 
too good to last. For a time we must go 
warily. Afterwards we will seek one more 
adventure, which we must select with great 
care, for it will be my last. If it is successful, 
I shall leave you. Afterwards, you two had 
better bury your savings in the ground and 
abandon the game, for it needs brains to be 
made successful, and you two have not the 
brains of a rabbit between you." 

They knew that I was right, and they held 
their peace. After that we let many cars go 
by. It was a month later, indeed, before we 
made our last coup, and it ended in very 
different fashion from what I had antici- 
pated. From my look-out place on a 
stretch of the road above the wagons I saw 
a grey touring car, piled with luggage and 
golf clubs, approaching from the direction 
of Cannes. There was a girl in front, seated 
by the driver, and an elderly gentleman 
behind. I called down to the others. 

" Comrades, this is our chance," I an- 
nounced. " Move the wagons on around 
the corner, and be prepared for what may 
happen." 

What did happen was not in the least what 
I had expected. A certain phase of it 
remains entirely inexplicable to me, even to 
this day. From where I lay, crouching 
amongst the scrub, I could see that some- 
thing was wrong with the car, or with the 
manner in which it was being driven. The 
chauffeur was rocking in his seat, and the 
car was swaying from side to side — it 
seemed at one time, indeed, as though it would 
go over the precipice without any interven- 
tion on our part. But it was the girl's face 
from which I could not remove my eyes, the 
girl's face which produced such an amazing 
impression upon me. She must have fully 
realized the danger she was in, but she 
showed not the slightest signs of fear. I 
heard her speak to the chauffeur, trying to 
bring him to his senses, but it was obvious 



that he was either in a fit or had completely 
lost his nerve. Then she leaned over and tried 
to put on the foot-brake, succeeding so far, 
in fact, as to momentarily check the progress 
of the car. The chauffeur, suddenly seizing 
his opportunity, jumped from his seat and 
rolled over in the dust. The girl's foot 
apparently slipped from the brake, and the 
car once more gathered speed. She clutched 
at the wheel, but it was obvious that she had 
never driven. Somehow or other she g6t 
round the corner, but, at the next — tfie 
wagons ! I saw her eyes, as the car came 
bumping down the hill, heard the wild 
shouting and exclamations of the old gentle- 
man behind, and there came to me one of 
those extraordinary moments, which I make 
no attempt to explain, moments when action 
is decided purely by impulse, and by an 
impulse irreducible to law. We had made 
the most careful plans to wreck this car. I 
risked my life to save it. I half-slid, half- 
scrambled, down the slope into the road, 
drew in my breath, poised myself for a great 
effort, and, at the psychological moment, 
leaped for the splashboard. More or less I 
succeeded. I found my left hand within 
reach of the wheel. The girl yielded it as 
though with instant understanding, and slid 
away to make room for me. In a matter 
of seconds I had the wheel in both hands, 
half-kneeling, half-sitting. We were within 
two inches of the precipice after my jump, 
and we just touched the farther side of the 
road with my grab at the wheel. After that 
it was easy. I righted the car without much 
difficulty, applied the brake, gently but with 
increasing force, took the corner with only a 
moderate skid, and brought the car to a 
standstill within a few feet of the wagons. 
When the girl saw it, the first look of fear 
crept into her face. She looked at me with 
shining eyes. 

" You were just in time," she said. 
" That was a wonderful jump." 

" What was the matter with your 
chauffeur ? " I asked. 

" Our own chauffeur was taken ill, and 
this was a boy we engaged in Cannes," she 
answered. " He was not equal to driving the 
car. He lost his nerve at the top of the hill." 

The old gentleman was in the road by this 
time and gripping my hand. 

" My good fellow," he exclaimed, " you 
have done a great day's work for yourself ! 
For God's sake say that you understand 
English." 

" I have hewn wood in Devonshire," I told 
him. " I speak English or French, which 
you will." 

He was recovering himself now, and I 
could see that he was a very pompous person, 
the very prototype of the travelling English- 
man of wealth who believes in himself. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i66 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



notes. It seemed as though he could not 
get rid of them fast enough, 

11 It is agreed," he declared, eagerly. 
" We shall not quarrel about terms, I 
promise you ! " 










1 poised myself (or a great effort, and leaped for the splashboard. 



" My name/' he announced, ** is Lord 
Kindersley. You will never regret this 
day's work." 

I made some attempt to descend, but he 
held me in my place. 

" You must drive us to the next town/* 
he insisted, " to Hyeres or t Toulon. I will 
reward you handsomely, but we cannot be 
left here, and I will not let that wretched 
youth touch the car again." 

" Where are you going to ? " I inquired. 

"England," the girl answered; "to 
Boulogne." 

" I will drive you to Boulogne/' I said, 
" if you will give me that young man's livery 
and papers, and recompense my comrades 
there for my absence. They will have to 
engage another woodman." 

The elderly gentleman was spluttering out 



A dusty figure came staggering down the 
hill, a youth sobered by fright, but evidently 
recovering from a debauch, I wasted few 
words upon him, but I took him round the 
bend of* the road r stripped ham of his 
clothes, and left him mine. Then I mounted 
the driving-seat of the car and tested the 
gears. Pierre and Jacques were gazing with 
amazement at the little bundle of hundred- 
franc notes which the English milord had 
thrust into their hands. 

" Farewell, comrades/' I said, waving my 
hand to them, " Some day I may come 
back, but I think not. Good luck to you 
both ! " 

They returned my farewell in wooden 
fashion, 1 let in my clutch and glided down 
the hill. .So . we started on the way to 
BoulogneP r| 9 m = 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E* Phillips Oppenheim 



167 



During the whole of our four days' journey, 
the girl, who sat by my side all the time, 
remained as though wrapped in her thoughts, 
and spoke to me only after long intervals. 



*' Because I wished to reach England, and 
I might find it difficult to get a passport of 
rny own/' I admitted. 

She abandoned the subject a little reluc- 
tantly, I knew 
very well that she 
was longing to 
ask me further 
questions, but I 
gave her no en- 
couragement. On 
the following day, 
after a prolonged 
silence, she again 




All the time, though, I was conscious of her 
presence, and I think that she was conscious 
of mine. 

" How is it that you, a woodman, can 
drive a motor-car ? " was her first question. 

" I have not always been a woodman/' I 
answered, 

" Why did you want that boy's papers ? " 

she asked. 

Digitized by VjOOS It 



r^njs 



adopted an interrogative tone. This time I 
found it less easy to answer her, 

" Why did you risk your life for us ? " she 
asked, with curious abruptness, towards the 
close of a long day's run. 

" Because I admiired the way you were 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i68 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



facing what seemed to be certain death," I 
told her. " The worst of us are liable to an 
impulse like that." 

" Is it true," she went on, " that some of 
the woodmen of the Foret du Dom frequently 
rob travellers who have met with motor 
accidents ? " 

" Quite true," I admitted. " They have 
even been kno\yn to contribute to the acci- 
dents. 1 have done it myself," 

She shivered, 

" I wish you would not tell me those 
things," she said, reproachfully. 

" It is the truth," I assured her. " We 
rather thought of wrecking your car, but I 
watched you coming down the hill, and 
afterwards I only thought of saving you." 

She laughed a little nervously, but, for the 
moment, she avoided meeting my eye. 

" You are a strange person," she declared. 
" Why were you masquerading as a wood- 
man ? " 

" Because I have wrecked other things 
besides motor-cars," I answered. " I was 
hiding from the police. This is a great 
opportunity for me to break away." 

She sighed. 

" I am sorry," she confessed. " All the 
same, I hope that you succeed." 

After that she tried once or twice to get me 
to talk about myself. She even suggested 
possible excuses for my imaginary mis- 
demeanours. About myself and my doings, 
however, I maintained a grim silence. In the 
end she ceased altogether from conversation. 

At Boulogne I was entrusted with the car, 
which I took across to London and delivered 
according to instructions at the garage of the 
house in South Audley Street. There I 
received a message that the young lady, 
whom I had avoided seeing at Folkestone, 
wished to speak to me the moment I arrived. 
I was shown into a little sitting-room in the 
great house, and she came to me almost 
at once. The first glimpse I had of her, as 
she crossed the threshold, gave me almost 
a shock. This fashionably-dressed young 
woman, notwithstanding her sweet, almost 
appealing smile, was a strangely different 
person from the girl with the wind-blown 
hair and scornful lips whom I had seen 
hastening on her way to death. 

" My uncle wished me to give you this," 
she said, handing me an envelope, " and I 
wondered " — she raised her eyes to mine — 
" whether you would care to have a little 
memento of me ? " 

She gave me a picture of herself in a 
tortoiseshell frame, and I put it into my 
pocket with the envelope. She made room 
for me to sit by her side on the sofa, but I 
affected not to notice her gesture of invita- 
tion. I had suddenly become conscious of a 
most amazing and unexpected sensation. 



" I shall never forget that evening," she 
continued, softly. " It was a wonderful 
jump, wasn't it ? " 

I was the victim of new impulses, bewilder- 
ing and incomprehensible. They led me in 
the strangest direction. I wanted to explain 
to her exactly who I was, to make her realize 
that I was an outcast for all time. Yet, when 
I made my effort, I felt that my words were 
pitiably weak. 

II I think, Miss Kincjersley," I said, " that 
you had better forget as much of the whole 
affair as you can. Remember that I deliber- 
ately planned to wreck your car as I had done 
others. It was only a fancy which made me 
change my mind. Believe me, I am not a 
credible acquaintance." 

" But you might be," she persisted. 
" Won't you try ? " 

I shook my head. 

" It is too late," I told her. " I am a 
hunted man to-day and shall be to the end. 
There is no country in the world where I 
could find safety, or even rest, for a little 
time. And what is coming to me I have 
earned." 

In these chronicles of my life there is just 
one vice, the vice of cowardice, to which I 
have never had to plead guilty. Just at this 
juncture, however, the sight of her small 
white hand stealing out towards me, the little 
quiver of her proud lips, perhaps a faint waft 
of that perfume of which I had been dimly 
consciotis on those four days when she had 
sat by my side, some one of these things, or 
all of them together, gripped at my heart, 
filled me with a vague terror of myself, so that 
I did the only thing which seemed possible 
— I hurried out of the room and out of the 
house. 

MR. YOUNGHUSBAND'S face was a 
picture when I visited him the next 
morning at his offices in Lincoln's Inn. 
I was still in my chauffeur's livery, which, 
with its peaked hat, afforded an excellent 
disguise, but he recognized my voice at once, 
and he shook in his chair. 

" Surely," he faltered, " this is most 
unwise ? " 

" My friend," I answered, seating myself 
at the other side of the table, " it may be 
unwise, but it is necessary. I found a 
perfectly safe means of getting into England, 
and now that I am here I want money." 

He drew his cheque-book from the drawer, 
but I brushed it on one side. 

" I will have a thousand pounds in Bank 
of England notes," I told him, " and a draft 
on the Bank of England for the same amount. 
Send your clerk out for it, then we can talk." 

He obeyed me, struggling hard to retain 
his composure. I watched him with a smile. 

M They say that you are a brave man when 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



) 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



169 



I am away," I remarked, " that you never 
show the least sign of losing your nerve." 

" There is no one over here so rash as you," 
the lawyer replied, promptly. " There is no 
one else who plays for such big stakes or runs 
such risks. The others I can deal with. 
They take my advice, they adopt caution as 
their motto. When you are in London, I 
never have a moment free from anxiety." 

I shrugged my shoulders. 

" I shall not trouble you much longer," I 
promised. " There is another matter to be 
cleared up, though. In Marseilles I was told 
that Janet Soale had drawn a large sum of 
money from you." 

" It is utterly false," the lawyer replied. 
" She has not even applied for a penny." 

I knew the truth then, of course. Louisa 
was never one to brook a rival. I felt a 
momentary compunction when I thought 
of Janet's terror in the cafe at Marseilles. 
After all, although we had ceased to care for 
one another, she had been faithful to me 
after her fashion. 

•* We heard that you were drowned at 
Marseilles," my companion remarked. 

M It was a narrow escape," I admitted. 
" Rimmington and Greyes were both over 
there, and they got on my track through 
Janet and Louisa. I had luck that night, 
and I needed it." 

Mr. Younghusband moved uneasily in his 
chair. 

" You were mad to come to London," he 
declared. 

" A species of desperation," I answered, 
calmly. " If you had eaten nothing but 
black bread and soup, and drunk nothing 
but sour wine for several months, you would 
be inclined to run a little risk yourself for the 
sake of a dinner at the Caf6 Royal." 

44 Why don't you retire ? " the lawyer 
suggested, leaning across the table. " You 
have sufficient money, and you are fond of 
the country. Why not make full use of 
your wonderful genius for disguise, choose 
some quiet spot, and run no more risks ? u 

" The matter is worth considering," I 
admitted. "There are a few little affairs 
to straighten out first, though." 

Mr. Younghusband looked at me curiously, 
then he laid his forefinger upon the copy of 
the Times which he had been studying when 
I entered the office. 

" You are interested in to-morrow's 
event, I suppose ? " 

" What event ? " I inquired. 

The lawyer shrugged his shoulders. I 
could see quite well that he did not believe 
in my ignorance. 

" The marriage of your old friend, Norman 
Greyes." 

I stared across the table, incredulously. 

" I have, indeed, been living out of the 



world," I observed. " Whom is he marry- 
ing ? " 

Mr. Younghusband coughed. He was 
watching me closely and he was almost 
embarrassed. 

" Do you mean to tell me that you do 
not know ? " he demanded. 

" Of course I don't," I replied, a little 
irritably. " You seem to forget where I 
have been for the last four months." 

" Norman Greyes is marrying the lady 
whom I have met as Mrs. Stanfield. She 
calls herself now Mrs. Janet Soale." 

That was, undoubtedly, one of the shocks 
of my life. Janet and I were parted, I had 
deceived her as I had done many other 
women, and, in her day, she had served 
me well and faithfully. I had no ill-feeling 
against her, especially now that I realized 
she had left my money untouched. More 
than ever, however, I meant to kill Norman 
Greyes. I held out my hand for the Times 
and read the little announcement. 

" Good ! " I said. " I shall attend the 
reception which I see is being given after 
the ceremony. It will be interesting to 
see Norman Greyes' taste in pearls. I see 
that he is having his collection strung as 
a wedding present for his wife." 

44 If you do, you're a madman/' the 
lawyer declared angrily. 

" Madmen for luck," I replied. 

By JANET. 

IT was exactly two months after I had 
left Marseilles when Norman Greyes 

walked into my little sitting-room in 
Smith Street, Westminster, where I was busy 
typing a play for the agency which occasion- 
ally sent me work. He was gaunt and thin, 
and it was obvious that he had not wholly 
recovered his strength, but he showed 
every sign of his old promptitude and 
decision of character. Before I had got over » 
my surprise at his coming, I felt his arms 
around me and every atom of strength 
leaving my body. The most wonderful ' 
moment of my life had arrived I 

" When will you marry me, Janet ? " 
he asked, a little later on, when he had 
set me back in my chair and seated himself 
by my side. 

" Marry you ? " I gasped. " How caii 
you talk of such things 1 " 

" Simply because they have to be talked 
about before they can be undertaken," 
he replied. " I look upon you as Michael's 
widow, but you have never cared for him 
as you are going to care for me." 

" But you don't even know if Michael 
is dead," I protested, my heart beating 
fast, every fibre of my body quivering at 
the thoughts evoked by his words. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i?o The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 

j"? ' j™ 




The lawyer shrugged his shoulders. 1 could see quits well that he did not believe in 

my ignorance. 



Norman held my hand tightly* 
M We are very sensible people, you and 
I," he said, 4i and we are going to look 
stark facts in the face. It doesn't matter 
in the least legally whether Michael is dead 
or not. He had at least two other wives 
alive in America when he married you." 

I leaned towards htm. Somehow or 
other, what would have seemed in my 
saner moments a sheer impossibility, seemed, 
at that moment, a perfectly natural and 
reasonable thing. Then, suddenly the old 
horror rose up in my mind. 



" You forget/ 1 I told him—" you forget 
that I, too " 

He placed his hand gently over my lips. 

" Janet/' he interrupted, " nothing that 
either of us could do, no penance we could 
undertake, would bring Lad broke back to 
life. His widow has her pension — I have 
seen to that. For the rest, you must forget 
as I have forgotten." 

" I killed him, Norman/' I faltered, 

" I have killed men myself in my day," 
he replied, "and I shall probably kill 
Michael, if ha is still alive, before our 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



171 



accounts are finally settled. That affair 
does not concern us any longer. You acted 
on a momentary impulse, You were pro- 
tecting the man whom you fancied, at- 
that time, you cared for." 

" I was doing more than that," I told 
him. " I was avenging myself. I was a 
stupid girl in those days — but I had ideas. 
No man had ever kissed me upon the lips. 
He took me unawares. If I had had the 
weapon in my hand then, I should have 
kilted him without any other thought." 

I saw a look almost of content in the 
face of the man I loved. 

" I always guessed that there was some- 
thing of the sort," he said. "The immediate 
question is, when are you going to marry 
me ?."■-. v 



I SUPPOSE I, was weak, but all women are 
weak when the. man. they care for pleads. 
I- had been through years of misery, 
and : the time came' when I was simply 
incapable of any further resistance. I 
became entirely passive, I did exactly as 
I w&s told, and marvellously happy I was 
in xloing it. Just as i was; in my shabby 
clothes, we went out to a restaurant in 
Soho and dined. It was a queer little 
place, over-crowded and not too well venti- 
lated/ but to nie"it'was like a room in a 
palace. All the time we made plans," or 
rather he made plans and I listened. My 
long struggle was &t an end. We were to 
be married almost at once, to travel for 
a time in Italy, Egypt — all the places I 
had longed to visit — and afterwards to 
settle down in the country and forget. It 
was not until after Norman had left me 
in my rooms, and the joy of the evening 
was merged into memories, that I felt 
that chill sense of apprehension which I 
did not altogether lose until long after- 
wards. A sudden fear of Michael set me 
shivering. I could not believe that he was 
dead. I felt, somehow, that he would come 
back and stand between me and my new 
happiness. The fear became almost a 
paroxysm. I locked the door of my room 
and lay awake most of the night, terrified 
of the sound of a passing footstep, terrified 
when a taxi-cab stopped anywhere near, 
fearful even of the darkness of the room, 
out of the shadows of which I fancied that 
I could see Michael's cold, ageless face, 
with his strange smile and grey-green 
eyes, behind which lurked that curious 
sense of power. The night passed, but 
even during those wonderful days that 
followed the fear remained. It came back 
even at the moment of my supreme happi- 
ness, some weeks later, when I passed down 
the aisle of the church with Norman — 
his wife I I suddenly felt convinced that 



Michael was in the church. It was a terrible 
moment, although a brief one. I faltered, 
and Norman looked down at me anxiously. 
Then I laughed and pretended to gather 
up my train. It was nothing, I told him — ' 
just a shiver. 

The rest, for some time, was just a j 
dream. There were crowds of people at 
the house in Southwell Gardens where 
Norman's sister was giving a reception for 
us. Everybody was wonderfully nice to 
me, and I made new friends at every 
moment.- Just as I was warned that it 
was time for me to go and change into my 
travelling gown, an uncle -of Norman 's> a : 
Mr. Harold Greyes, asked me to show him 
the pearl necklace which had been Norman's 
present to me; I took him at once into' 
the little room where the wedding gifts 
were set out. There was a small gathering 
of guests there, nearly all of whom were 
known to me. At the far end of the rooni, : 
seated in a chair and apparently taking 
little interest in the proceedings, was the 
detective who had come from Scotland 
Yafrd to watch over the jewellery. 

•"*I know that you have only a moment 
to spare," Mr. Greyes said to me. \ I 
will just look at the pearls and be off. 
I am curious to see if Norman is really a 
judge." ."".', . 

I pointed to where the necklace was 
lying in its case. I myself was talking to 
one or two people who had finished their 
inspection. My companion glanced down- 
wards, frowned, adjusted his eyeglass, 
dropped it, and turned to me with a little 
smile. 

"Quite a reasonable precaution," he 
observed ; " but was it necessary with a 
detective in the room ? " 

"I don't understand," I told him, a 
little bewildered. 

" The substitution of the necklace," he 
explained. "Of course, these are very 
fair imitations, but I wanted to see the 
real thing." 

I leaned down and felt a sudden thrill 
of apprehension. The necklace which was 
twined around its setting of ivory satin 
was one which I had never seen before. 
It was certainly- not the one which I had 
taken in my fingers and showed to some 
friends of Norman's, less than half an 
hour ago. 

I called to the detective. 

" My pearl necklace has been taken 
within the last half an hour," I exclaimed. 
" This is an imitation one which has been 
substituted ! " 

The detective first closed the door and 
then came back into the room. We both of 
us looked around. Besides myself and my 
companion, Mr. Harold Greyes, there were 

lINIVEfelTY OF MICHIGAN 



i72 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



present a very charming girl called Beatrice 
Kindersley, a great friend of Norman's ; 
an elderly lady, Mrs. Phillipson ; and a 
slim, soldierly-looking man who was a 
complete stranger to me, but who, on 
account of his sunburnt complexion, I put 
down as an Anglo-Indian. 

" Dear me," the latter exclaimed, " this 
is very distressing ! A great many people 
have passed in and out during the last 
half hour." 

" It is only within the last three minutes," 
the detective said, " that I have moved 
to the farther end of the room. May I 
ask, Lady Greyes, if everyone here is known 
to you ? " 

" Miss Kindersley, certainly," I replied, 
" and Mrs. Phillipson. I don't think I 
have met you, have I ? " I added, turning 
to the man. 

He looked at me with a rather peculiar, 
smile, and I noticed for the first time 
that he was wearing rimless spectacles. 
He had a particularly high forehead and 
thick, grey-black hair brushed smoothly 
back. I cannot. say that he reminded me 
of anyone, yet something in his appearance 
filled me with a vague sense of uneasiness. 

"I fear that I have not yet had that 
honour, Lady Greyes," he acknowledged, 
quietly. " Your husband, however, is an 
old friend. My name is Escombe — Colonel 
James Escombe of the Indian Army." 

" If you are unknown to Lady Greyes, 
I must ask you to remain until Sir Norman 
arrives," the detective said. 

" With the utmost pleasure," he replied. 
" I have already had the privilege of re- 
newing my acquaintance with him." 

Beatrice Kindersley, who had been stand- 
ing looking on, suddenly began to laugh. 

"Poor Colonel Escombe ! " she exclaimed, 
passing her arm through his. " Why, he is 
one of Dad's oldest friends. He hates 
weddings and functions of all sorts, but I 
persuaded him to come here with me 
because he had met Sir Norman in India 
once. Please, Lady Greyes, may I take 
him away ? We promised to call for Dad 
at his club, and we are late already." 

The detective was obviously disappointed. 
I murmured something conventional and 
shook hands with them both. 

" I may be permitted, although a com- 
parative stranger," Colonel Escombe said 
as he bent over my fingers, " to wish you 
all the happiness which I am sure you 
deserve." 

They passed out, without any undue 
haste, laughing and talking to one another. 
The detective hurried away, on the track 
of some fresh inquiry. I moved back, 
urged by some irresistible impulse, to the 
case where the imitation pearl necklace 



was lying. For the first time I noticed a 
little label attached to it. I turned it over 
and read two words, written in a familiar 
handwriting — " Michael's Gift." 

SUDDENLY Norman came hurrying in, 
already changed into a grey tweed travel- 
ling suit. „ He -thrust his arm through 
mine and swung me towards the door, 
f" Janet, dear," he said, "you have 
exactly a quarter of an hour." 

" One question, please," I begged. " Did 
you ever know a Colonel Escombe in the 
Indian Army ? " ' -.-; 

" Never in my life,"; he answered. 

I saw the detective hurrying towards us, 
and I clutched Norman's arm. I think that 
he must have guessed from my face that 
something had happened. 

" No-man," I whispered, " supposing 
the necklace " 

" Well, dear ? " 

" Supposing it was stolen ? " 

His grasp on my arm tightened. 

" I shouldn't care a hang, sweetheart," 
he whispered, " so long as we catch that 
train in half an hour and I have you all 
to myself for the rest of my life." 

By MICHAEL. 

THE greatest genius in the world cannot 
foresee all contingencies. It has always 
been my practice to leave something 
to fate. How on earth I was going to get 
out of the house in Southwell Gardens, if 
the theft of the necklace were discovered 
before I could get away by natural means, 
I had been quite unable to make up my 
mind. Fate, however, decided it for me. 
I left with flying colours, rescued by the 
girl " whose lips had mocked at danger 
on the precipices of the Foret du Dom. 

■ " Where to ? " she asked, as we took 
our places in her car. 

" To the British Museum Tube, if you 
can take me so far," I answered. 

She gave the order to the chauffeur. 
Then she leaned back in her place. Her 
expression puzzled me. She was as pale 
as - she had been on the day when she had 
faced death, but there was none of the 
exaltation in her face. 

" You are disturbed ? " I ventured. 

" I am unhappy," she answered. 

" You regret your intervention ? " 

She shook her head. 

" It is not that. You stole the pearls ? " 

" Of course I did," I admitted. 

" You are a thief ! " 

" I never pretended otherwise." 

Her eyes filled with tears. 

" I will give you that credit," she con- 
fessed bravely. al- M(Silfi I— would it be 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E, Phillips Oppenheim 



J 73 



possible for me to buy the pearls from 



you t 

" For what purpose 

"To return to 
Lady Greyes, of 
course* Don't 
you see that I 
am partly re- 
sponsible for 
their loss ? M 

" My dear 
young lady," I 
said, earnestly, 
1 ' the pearls are 
yours, with 
pleasure, I took 
them because 
the dramatic 
side of the theft 
appealed to me. 
Norman Greyes 
and I are old 
enemies. He has 
hunted me as 
only man can 
hunt man. His 
wife is an old 
acquaintance. 
It flattered my 
vanity to attend 
hisreception un- 
recognized, and 
to help myself to 
his wife's pearls. 
Allow me." 

I took off my 
silk hat and laid 
it upon the 
opposite seat. 
Then I passed 
my hand slowly 
from my fore- 
head back over 
my hair, pressed 
the top of m\ 
skull, and 
handed her the 
necldace. She 
had been on 
the point of 
tears a mo- 
ment before. 
She looked at 
me now, hei 
eyes wide J 
open with ' 
wonder* 

" I appre- 
ciate your 
surprise/ 1 I 
told her "As 
a matter of 
fact, this false 
top to my 



? " I inquired. 



head is one of the most ingenious things 
my friends m Paris ever made for me, 
If Norman Greyes succeeds and I fail, 
you will probably see it one day in 
the Museum at Scotland Yard," 

The car pulled up outside the 
Tube station. The girl held out 
her hand, She looked at me, and 
something of the feeling came into 
my heart which had driven me, a 
fugitive, from her house. 

" I think that you are a very ter- 
rible, but a very wonderful, person/' 
she said. ''Anyhow, I like to think 
that I have paid a part of my debt," 
The madness had me in its 
grip. I lifted her fingers to my 
lips, I laughed in my soul because 
she made no effort to withdraw 
them. 

* The whole of it is paid/' I told 
her, as I turned away. 



Next month ; — - 
The Mystery Advertisement " 




1 read two words, 

written in a familiar 

handwriting — 

"Michael's Gift." 

Qrigir fca] from 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



174 



44 



e & o.e: 



— .,7- — 

ELIOT CMWSHflf -WILLIAMS 

Mr. Crawshay- Williams has specially written for THE STRAND MAGAZINE 
the following short story version of his play "E. & O.E./' one of the most 
successful of the Grand Guignol series at the Little Theatre. The story is here 
illustrated by photographs of the stage production. The title, of course, is the 
usual business abbreviation of the phrase " Errors and Omissions Excepted." 



(1) 

A LITTLE black note-book — the kind 
you buy for a penny or two to keep 
your petty-cash account in or as 
an auxiliary washing-list. On the 
outside is gummed a slip of white paper 
inscribed, in a tiny hand, " E. & O." A 
man's fingers turn the pages quickly. We 
can see the numerous entries of an account ; 
but the action is too rapid to allow us to 
read any individual entry. Never mind : 
we shall know all about it later. 

(2) 

JAMES SMITH was a man of method. 
His whole life was a method. One is sure 
he had been born methodically, on the 
appointed day, of the appropriate weight. 
Even his name was a very - method of a 
name : average, steady, unremarkable. 

Only once had he lapsed from his sure 
and patient progress through life. Love," 
that arch-rebel, had lured him into marrying 
a totally unsuitable little blonde from 
Surbiton, who, after a year or so of married 
infelicity, had produced a son, and then 
quietly done the best thing for the general 
good by dying. 

After that, no more love for James 
Smith. Too dangerous. With calmness 
and calculation he chose Mary Mackintosh, 
who seemed an eminently desirable mate, 
and prepared to resume his steady pace 
along life's path. But he left one thing 
out of his calculations. He left Mary's 
mother out. 

Jane Mackintosh was a managing woman. 
Probably she had managed the marriage. 
Without doubt, after it, she managed the 
husband. After an effort at self-assertion.. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



James retired. He could not have liberty 
and peace. He chose peace. Mary had a 
pleasant time in her own way, which was 
not often James's way, and James normally 
retired to a small den he had been able 
to preserve in the highlands of his house, 
and there passed quiet, not to say dull, 
hours, unclouded save for tobacco srtipke. 
Also, occasionally, he would get out and 
pore over a little black note-book. Marked 
" E. & O." 

He had consulted it on the morning we 
met him. It was his hand that we saw 
rapidly — yet almost lovingly — turning its 
pages. Eventually it stopped at a blank 
page, took a pen, and made an entry. 

James had been upset that morning. 
There had been a scene. Quite a minor 
scene, about mushrooms considered as a 
breakfast dish. But a fresh little affair, 
ending in James's exit, unbreakfasted, 
upstairs. To make his entry — in the black 
note-book. 

As he walked to the station to catch the 
usual business train James was preoccupied, 
and the ignominious unhappiness of his 
position rankled in his brain. Was there 
no escape, he turbulently wondered as he 
stepped off the pavement to cross the road. 

Was there no esc And then there 

was a blinding blank. 

(3) 
"li *ARY!" shouted Mrs. Mackintosh 
I y J[ over the banisters, " Mary. There's 
someone at the door. Where's 
Ann ? " 

Mary, emerging from the lower regions, 
thought it pardonable at that hour of the 
morning to ga to the door herself, instead 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Eliot Crawshay- Williams 



*75 



of hunting up the servant. She opened 
the door and then 

" Mother \ Mother / " she screamed, " It's 
James. He's dead ! Oh p he's dead I " 

" Hush, mum/' said one of the men who 
carried the stretcher, " 'E ain't dead* 
But "e's badly 'urL 'E asked to be brought 
'ome 'ere." 

They took him upstairs and put him to 
bed. The doctor took a grave view. Even 
Mrs. Mackintosh was subdued — for the 
moment. Death seemed very near. The 
bus had badly crumpled him up + The 
back wheel had jumped his head, or it 
would have been the mortuary for James, 
As it was — — 

As soon as he could speak, he asked 
the women to send for his solicitor. 

" I want to make my will/' he 
whispered. 

Outside Jane 
turned to Mary, 

"His will? " 
she said, with 
hushed ferocity. 
"His will? 
Hasn't he made 
his will ? How 
will it. go if — if 
he dies before 

" she tailed 

off in horror- 

" Oh, I don't 
know/' answered 
the daughter, 
" Poor James ! 
Let's send for the 
man, anyhow/ 1 

" Ann ! " [cres- 
cendo, with the 
soft pedal down) 
" Ann ! " 

" Yes, mum?" 

" Go to the offices of Stone, Paving, and 
Stone, and fetch Mr. Stone here at once. 
Go in a taxi. Here's the money/' 

The two women returned to the sick 
room and sat in silent expectancy. The 
dying man lay inert. Except for a slight 
movement from time to time, or a faint 
groan, he might have been already dead. 

Presently Jane could keep silence no 
longer. She began to talk to her daughter 
in an undertone. 

" Over his head, you said ? " 

t4 Right over his head — there must have 
been a stone or something to make it jump. 

If it hadn't been for that " and Mary 

paused, unable to face the visualization. 

Her mother faced it. " He'd never have 
been able to settle his affairs before he 
died/' Then she went on with accusing 
gravity, 4t My dear, it was criminally 
negligent of him not to have made his 




Jane went over to Charles* whom she addreaaed in 
low, quick tones; " We've been cheated ; all of us. 
It* s not (air ; it's not right" - 



will before. That's the worst of these men 
of business — they never attend to their 

own + Who will his money go to if " 

Mary broke in, to her credit, a little 
impatiently. 

" Oh, mother, do be quiet/' she whispered. 

41 It's too awful. I don't like to think " 

Hi Think ! " interrupted Jane + " Think ! 
My dear, we must think, and he ought to 
have thought. I believe the property goes 
to that scapegrace son of his* And when 
you married James it was distinctly under- 
stood that his son was to be considered 
as dead as his first wife. Oh ! Ji she gathered 
indignation, " It's disgraceful ! " 

' H Hush, mother; 
please, please/' and Mary 
tried to turn the current 
of the hard old woman's 
thoughts. "Isn't 
it time for his 
morphia ? " 

" Not quite/' 
Then, with harsh 
impatience, 4I I 
wish this man 
would come. 
Still, when he 
does it won't 
take long* James 
need only say M 
leave all to my 
wife/ " 

There was a 
faint groan from 
the bed, Jane 
leapt up, panic 
in her face, 
Mary came to 
her side. James 
laboriously 
turned himself 
over and raised 
himself a little on his elbow. His white 
face, white bandages, and the white linen 
he was lying in made a macabre picture, 
He began to speak in a faint voice, 
" Jane/* he said, " and you, Marv r 
there's something I want to sav to you 
before that solicitor man comes, I remember 
now, my old friend Stone is away, and it 
will be his partner, young Stone, his cousin, 
who will come, I don't know him well, 
and I have some things to say I wouldn't 
care for him to hear." Mrs, Mackintosh 
was all attention. All attentiveness, too. 
She bent over him with solicitude. 

n Now, James/' she said in the silkiest 
voice she was capable of, " you must not 
excite yourself, Let me give you your 
morphia/ 1 

Even in his dying state James found 
himself able to summon up a feeble 
irritation, /'rig in a I from 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



iy6 



«E. & O.E." 



" No, no ; I don't want to be bothered 
with that infernal needle till I've said what 
I want to," he croaked. " Please sit 
down." They sat down. 

" It is about this will," he went on ; and 
the women tried to combine expectancy 
with conventional embarrassment. 

" I dare say you'll have thought it very 
negligent of me not to have made a fresh 
will on my second marriage." 

Jane certainly did think it negligent ; 
but at this juncture she considered it better 
to disguise her feelings, so she merely tried 
to reassure her son-in-law. 

" You know you are not going to die at 
all," she told him, cheerily. 

James was definite. " I am going to 
die," he persevered. " Very soon. In a 
few hours. That" is why I want to say 
what I'm going to. 

" Well," went on James, " it wasn't just 
negligence. I knew quite well that my 
marriage invalidated any previous will, 
and I had a reason for postponing making 
another one. And I had no reason to 
think that I'd die. I'm just over fifty, 
and I'm a pretty healthy person. I couldn't 
foresee this." He stopped, and his eyes, 
for a moment, took a faraway look. Then 
he pulled himself together and went on : 
" Yes, I had a reason for not making 
another will at once. - I wanted to be sure 
I was going to make it right." 

AT this Jane gave a little start and was 
^-^ about to say something, but deciding 
not to, she repressed herself. 

" You both know," he went on, " that I 
had resolved to disinherit my son, John, 
and before I married, you, Mary, I did 
actually make a will disinheriting him, and 
leaving my property to my brother and my 
first wife's brother." Jane nodded. " That 
will became void on my second marriage. My 
property then would havejgone practically all 
to John, if I didn't make another will." . He 
paused a moment, then added : " But I still 
considered John disinherited. I considered 
Mary, my new wife, my natural heir." 

" Of course," observed Jane, brightly. 

" Yes, of course, but I thought it well, 
before I actually made her my legal heir, 
that she should justify her title. So I 
made a rough valuation of all I owned. I 
credited it to you, Mary. John was to 
have nothing." 

" It was understood " put in Jane. 

James interrupted her curtly. . " I am 
not talking about what was understood. 
People understand odd things." 

Jane was shut up and James proceeded. 
" I valued my property. I credited it to 
Mary. And then I started a system which 
I believe I can claim the credit of inventing." 



The others pricked up their ears. James 
thought a moment. Then he resumed : 
" I want to speak plainly. One of the 
few privileges of being on one's death-bed 
is that one can speak plainly. I suppose 
that indicates that one doesn't believe 
very strongly in another world — but we 
won't pursue that. Anyway, I feel I can 
say now what I've been keeping shut up 
inside me for a good many years. I hate 
rows, and rather than have rows I've been 
silent." 

This was too much for Jane, and she 
burst forth with mingled protestation and 
regression : " Rows ! " 

James was not to be irritated, and went 
on with placidity: " My dear Jane, I know 
your temperament — and Mary's. I don't 
mean that you'd have thrown the crockery 
at me ; that is the privilege of the lower 
classes. But my life would have been 
lived in a state of — well, let us say strain. 
I don't like strain." I'm one of those people 
who, as the saying goes, will do anything 
for a quiet life." 

This time it was Mary who was roused, 
and in a shocked voice she began : "I am 
sure " 

James cut her short. " Look here, Mary, 
let's have it granted that you've been a 
most efficient wife, and leave it at that. 
I'm dying, and I can't stand strain now, 
anyhow. And I've got a good deal to say." 

Mary subsided and James passed his hand 
over his forehead. " Well," he went on, 
wearily, " where had we got to ? Oh, 
yes ; I credited the value of my property 
to you ; and then I started my system. I 
said nothing about it for the sake of peace 
and quiet. I got peace and quiet — I allow 
that. But I didn't have a jolly life." 

He turned laboriously to Jane. " You'll 
pardon me," he said in a tone of apology, 
"if I am quite frank. You, Jane, you 
know you weren't," he hesitated for a 
word, " congenial to me.", 

Jane was ruffled. " If you'd ever said 
anything to me, I'd never have come near 
you." 

" I think you would. You're that sort. 
You hadn't a husband, and you hadn't 
money, and you have the hell of a will ; 
you'll pardon me, I hope, if I put things 
crisply." He smiled faintly. "I'm dying, 
you know. ' You'd have got what you 
wanted — maybe after a struggle. And I 
didn't want a struggle." 

Jane, woman of business, wanted to get 
the gist of it, and put in, somewhat 
brusquely : " Well, James, what does it 
all amount to ? " 

" It amounts to this, Jane," he answered, 
smoothly. " That I have charged you 
board and lodging." 

UNIVEP.MOF MICHIGAN 



Eliot Crawshay -Williams 



*77 



The women were staggered. " What ! " 
at last ejaculated Jane. 

James was smoothly explanatory. " Board 
and lodging/' he reiterated. "Asa paying 
guest. You see, you weren't my guest ; 
and I didn't see why I should entertain my 
wife's family at the expense of my own, as 
it were. So I charged board and -lodging, 
to the Mackintosh account — rthe mother-in- 
law account I call it," he added, with a little 
smile. Then he went on explanatorily : 
*' Quite moderate, I can assure you." 
. The women sat speechless, and it was 
James who broke the silence by saying to* 
Mary : — 

" In the wardrobe,- over, there, . you'll 
find a little black book — a note-bqok. It's 
marked ' E. & O.' Would, you mind giving 
it to 'me — it's in the pocket of my morning 
coat." > v 

Jane recovered speech. " E. & O. ? " she 
ejaculated in angry interrogation.. 

" Errors and Omissions," supplied James, 
smoothly. Then added : " Rather a feeble 
little joke, perhaps, but I had to call the 
book something." 

By this time Mary had fetched the book. 
She gave it to James and sat down again in 
silence. 

James turned over a few leaves. " Ah, 
here we are," and he read out : — 

"'To fifteen years and nine months' 
board and lodging at five guineas a week ! ' 
— that includes wine, Jane, and you always 
liked my taste in wine — ' four thousand 
guineas.' " 

Jane started ; and James went on to 
elucidate. 

" You see really it would come to four 
thousand two hundred and ninety-nine and 
three-quarter guineas ; but I've knocked 
off the odd amount. In pounds it's four 
thousand two hundred. You'll forgive my 
making it clear ; but I remember guineas 
always bothered you both rather. You don't 
think it's unreasonable, do you ? Five 
guineas ! and the port was always vintage." 
* "I — I think it's unheard-of," Jane 
managed eventually to get out in a slightly 
stifled voice. 

" Yes," went on James, pleasantly, " I 
said I thought I had invented the system, 
didn't I? But the tariff, I mean. It's 
really quite moderate." 

Mary at last found speech. An almost 
tearful speech. 

•" Well, I must say I think it's most — 
most mean of you to have behaved like 
this. To penalize me because poor mother 
lived with me to make me happy." 

" And me unhappy — you knew that." 

Mary swept on, unnoticing. " It's dis- 
gusting ! Not that I care about these 
sordid money matters." And then, belying 

Vol. Uiv.-12. 



her words, "So you've fined me four 
thousand pounds in your will ? " 
. "Four thousand two huudred," corrected 
James urbanely. " And they're not .fines.- 
They're board and lodging. I haven't come 
to the fines yet." ; 

" Fines ! " ejaculated Mary. 

" Y6s. r. Part of my system. Part I am 
sorry to have to come to ; But .you mightr 
think me unjust if I didn't explain." 

" Fines ? " ejaculated Jane. - ► 

( .This time' James was curt. " Yes ; fines. 
For bad behaviour." 

r Mary turned to him indignantly. " Bad 
behayiout ? ■?' ":*.."* * " : . v 

. ".Bad temper ; inconsiderateness ; 
neglect; and— I fear — a certain amount 
of infidelity." 

This, I fear, must have gone home to: 
Mary, for. the 'tone in which she said 
" Infidelity ! Oh, James ! " was more 
disconcerted than amazed. ' 

" Oh," went on James easily, " don't 
imagine I'm charging you with adultery." 

Mary shuddered, and her mother half 
rose in her seat, to sink back again on 
finding no words adequate. 

" Oh, it's no time for being mealy- 
mouthed. I mean adultery, and I say 
adultery. I don't charge you withiadultery. 
You may be guilty of it." Mary shuddered 
again. " Or you may not. I haven't had 
a detective on you ; I'm not so crude. 
And in any case I'm not the sort of fool 
who wants to advertise by a divorce case 
that he can't keep his wife, and that he's 
not so attractive to her as other men are. 
No, I've had my own thoughts ; but after 
one or two scenes, which you'll remember, 
I've let you go your own way." 

He paused for a moment and then con- 
tinued with a certain hardness : "I am 
twenty years older than you. I've seen you 
run after by young men. I've seen you run 
after some yourself. I've seen you going but 
to dances and dinners/leaving me behind." 

AT this Mary was about to protest, but 
J~y^ James held up his hand. " Oh, yes, 
yes. It was for my sake! So that I 
could be nice and quiet — and talk to your 
mother! I wasn't wanted. And I saw I 
spoilt your time. After one or two experi- 
ences I saw it all quite clearly. You showed 
me. There are more ways of making a man 
understand than by words." His tone was 
a little pathetic. " So I — I retired. And 
you ?— you had a good time. Dances, 
dinners, theatres ; taxis home with nice 
young men ; week-end parties in congenial 
company. Oh, I'd have been in the way ! '* 

Mary utilized the pause that sheer weakness 
imposed on the dying man. " But, James," 
she protested, " if you'd ever said ! " 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i 7 8 



"E. & O.E." 



- " Said ? I did say ! Quite often, if 
you will be pleased to remember, at the 
beginning. But it was no use. It made things 
worse. And I am too big a man, in the end, 
to let things descend to pettiness. Jealousy 
is an ignoble emotion ; it degrades a mkn, 
and it does no good. And short of brtlte 
force there's no argument for a flighty 
woman. I don't like brute force. I 
wouldn't use it. But when you got too 
outrageous — I fined you." 
. She fell back on tearfulness. " James, do 
you mean you didn't trust me?" 
; "Of course I didn't trust you. Only a 
fool trusts his wife after she's ceased to" 
love him. But only a fool makes a fuss. 
I didn't make a fuss. I fined you." 

" Oh, James," sobbed Mary. And then 
she came to the point. "How much? " 

" It depended ; there were various 
classes," and he turned over the leaves of 
his black note-book. " As I say, I haven't 
charged you with statutory offences. But 
there are many offences unknown to the 
law which are quite as bad as a lot of those 
known to it. Apart from infidelity, you'll 
remember I mentioned bad temper, incon- 
siderateness, and neglect. Under the 
British system of law those are not punish- 
able offences. But under my system they 
are." 

" I haven't neglected you ! " burst out 
his wife. 

" You've fed me. You've run the house. 
And so, against the debit side, I've credited 
your wages as housekeeper. Thirty shillings 
a week and your keep. But you've never 
been anything more than a housekeeper to 
me since the year after we married. And 
I've allowed you privileges most house- 
keepers don't have. And then there are 
your clothes. I haven't charged you with 
them. And railway fares. Oh, lots of 
things. I've been most generous; really. 
And," he reflected, " you haven't given me 
much. Most housekeepers would have been 
quite as attentive — and more polite. And, 
I think, rather more affectionate. But now 
we've come to the reckoning." Then he 
consulted his book. " I'll only give you a 
few specimens ; there are so many items. 
But everything is down there ; and I'm 
leaving you the book in my will. ' January 
the fourth ' — that was the year after we 
were married — ' One scene, £2 * — you'll 
remember that scene ; it was about the 
first one we had. You wanted to go to 
Monte Carlo ; and when I explained that I 
couldn't find the money, you flew into a 
temper and talked about young wives and 
old husbands and so on. Rather unkind, I 
think. But it was quite a cheap scene." 
He paused a minute to summon his failing 
energy ; then he went on reading. " Same 



year, June the tenth. * lnconsiderateness 
£1 ios. ' " 

" What do you call inconsiderateness ? " 

" I'm just going to tell you. That day I 
had a bad headache. When you went out 
I asked you if you'd get me some aspirin. 
When you came back you hadn't got it, 
and when I. inquired about it, all you said 
was," and he referred to the book, " ' Oh, 
James, why, can't you send the servants 
on your errands ? '* I don't think one pound 
ten shillings is exorbitant ? " 
~ Jane thought it time to interfere. 
" James," she ejaculated furiously, " you're 
preposterous." 

"No, Jane, I'm riot. I'm practical. 
Not selfishly practical ; altruistically, practi- 
cal. I may not have done myself much 
good by this system — nothing, I think, 
would have done me much good. If I'd 
told you of my system, you r d have badgered 
me out of it, or made life hell for me one 
way or another. But I'm doing a service 
to humanity. Perhaps wives will behave a 
bit better to their husbands when my 
system becomes known — and, possibly, 
practised. But I'd like to give you an idea 
of another class of fine." He turned again 
to the note-book. " I take this from the 
account for three years ago. 4 Affair with 
Algernon, £100 .' I don't think there is 
much need to enlarge on that, is there, 
Mary ? " 

" I don't know what you mean." 

" Oh, yes, you do. And the itemized 
account is there in case you have forgotten 
anything. For instance, you remember the 
day you had him to tea here, and when I 
came in rather unexpectedly — not, I assure 
you, intending to catch you — you were 
sitting, rather flushed, at one end of the 
sofa, while he was standing, also rather 
flushed, just by you ; both considerably 
confused ? That was five pounds. And 
then there was the serious affair of the pink 
nightdress." 

" James ! " 

But James was unmoved, and went on 
inexorably, " Really I let yor off easily 
at one hundred pounds, I think. A jury 
would very likely have given me more. 
Oh, Algernon wasn't an expensive lover." 
He turned over the leaves rapidly. " Let 
me see, I think your most extravagant affair 
was Charles." 

It was with dignity that Jane, who had 
by now somewhat regained command of 
the situation and herself, took up the reins 
of the conversation. 

" Can you not spare us these details ? " 

James stopped. " Very well. I won't 
give you any more items. But they are 
all here. And now I must tell you the 
final balance of the account." He turned 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Eliot Crawshay- Williams 



179 




For a moment Mary did not hear them, and when she looked al the old man's rather 

gruesome presence she gave a terrified cry* 



to the end of the note-book. " I find that, 
deducting from the total estimated value of 
my estate the amount of board and lodging 

for you, Jane, and sundry fines, etc. " 

The even flow of his voice suddenly ceased, 
there was a slight choke and James fell 
back on the pillow. Both women sprang 
to their feet — they had not quite realized 
the man's condition, or had forgotten it 
in their excitement. But the end was not 
yet. As his wife leant over him James 
opened his eyes and asked her feebly for a 
glass of water. With a trembling hand 
Mary fetched it, and James drank. 

" 1 beg your pardon/' he said with a 
whimsical smile, *' I'm sorry I left you on 
tenter-hooks. I find there is left five 
hundred and twenty -seven pounds/' 

The blow had fallen, and it was a heavy 
one, Mary and her mother had no breath 
for words. There was silence, James leant 
back exhausted. 

AND then Jane, in whom a tempest had 
L long been brewing, sprang to her feet. 
In these moments the elemental self 
comes to the surface, and it was a fish- wife 
that appeared in Jane. 

" It's scandalous ! " she ranted, " Scan- 
dalous ! Playing these disgusting tricks 
upon your wife, unknown to her, in secret, 
and then disinheriting her, leaving her to 
penury — without warning, without giving 
her a chance," 

But James still had it in him to fight. 
He lifted himself, weak and agitated, and 
faced his mother-in-law. 

r< Oh, I knew there'd be a row. But, in 
justice, I wanted to tell you all this before 
I died ; and I'll have it out, if it kills me, 
Jane. Now, look here ; I didn't play 



tricks, I didn't give you both no chance. 
I gave you hundreds of chances. If you 
hadn't been hard and stupid and cruel it 
would never have comft ri to this. And as 
for penury — Mary has eight hundred a year 
of her own/' 

Argument would not deter the woman, 
ihe overwhelmed the even flow of his words 
with her flood of fury, 

" It's mean and vindictive revenge ; 
that's what it is/' 

But James, holding up his hand, made one 
list protest. fl No ; it's not revenge. It's 
justice, What good would revenge be to 
me ? I'm dying. Wherever I'm going, I'll 
have no use for revenge. And do you 
think Td maliciously deprive any living 
thing of just enjoyment, so that, during 
these last moments of my life, I could have 
the petty satisfaction of seeing them 
squirm ? No ; it's not revenge. It's 
justice." 

Jane turned to him with fresh fury, 
" Who are you leaving your money to ? " 

" I might say that that was my own 
business," feebly objected James. " But 
I'll tell you. I'm leaving it to John/' 

" John ! " exclaimed his wife. 

" That outcast ! " raged Jane with viru- 
lence, " and his housemaid 1 " 

James was recovering his imperturba- 
bility. He replied with almost his old 
easiness, " I suppose his housemaid is 
still with him. In fact, from inquiries, I 
believe she makes him quite happy. We 
are a pretty faithful, easily contented lot 
in my family. And I've come to the con- 
clusion that there may be worse fates in 
life than running away w T ith a housemaid." 

The exertion was telling on him, and 
passing his band over his forehead he lay 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i8o 



"E. & o.e; 



back. " I wish that man would come," 
he querulously exclaimed. " He'll be too 
late if he doesn't take care. This has 
taken it out of me. And I want to get it 
all settled — for your sakes as well as for 
other reasons — some small matters I want 
to adjust. I don't suppose you mind much 
now ; but five hundred pounds is some- 
thing, and if I don't put this through, John 
gets practically everything." With these 
words he turned over to rest his exhausted 
faculties, and closed his eyes. 

Jane east aside restraint. She paced the 
room like a mad beast. She shook her fist 
at the figure on the bed, while she shrieked 
at him. 

Mary was shocked. " Mother ! " she 
exclaimed, and rose t:> restrain her. 

14 I don't care," shouted Jane, shaking 
herself free. " He shall know what I 
think of him before he dies." Standing by 
the bed she directed her fury to penetrating 
his consciousness. " You're — an old cur- 
mudgeon — an old " 

Mary pulled her from behind. " Mother, 
mother 1 " 

Jane's breath failed her ; she choked into 
silence. Mary had got between her and 
the bed in sheer fear lest her mother's 
violence should culminate in an actual 
assault on her dying husband, and as Jane 
ceased she looked down on James's face. 
In that face she saw something which made 
her almost stop breathing. She bent 
hurriedly over the prostrate man. . Jane was 
fussing to get her handkerchief. Suddenly 
Mary recoiled and drew herself up. In 
litter terror she turned to the other woman : 
" Mother, mother," she cried, in hushed 
horror. " He's dead ! " 

Jane was not to be taken in by so trans- 
parent an artifice to evade her getting home 
on the offender. 

11 Dead ! " she said in contempt. " Non- 
sense, he's shamming, he's ashamed." 

Mary, who knew better, merely started 
wailing as her mother stooped over James 
and continued : " He's not dead. James, 
come now ! open your eyes." 

Then, beginning to be a little shaken, 
she tried to raise him. His head lolled 
back. There was silence except for Mary's 
moaning. 

Jane's efficiency in the midst of this 
horror reasserted itself. " Quick ! " she 
cried, " get a mirror ! " And she un- 
buttoned James's nightshirt and stopped 
to listen for the beating of his heart. But 
James merely lolled. 

Jane watched her mother while the test 
was made. Looking at the mirror, Jane let 
the body fall back on the pillow. " He's 
dead," she said. 

Mary gave a wail, and sank into a chair, 



to lie there sobbing. Jane replaced the 
mirror and returned to stand over the bed, 
looking at the dead man in silence. At 
last she went over to Mary and put her arm 
round her. 

The event had shattered even this 
woman's self-confidence, and allowed the 
softness that every mother has somewhere 
in her soul to gain a moment's ascendancy. 

" There, my dear," she said soothingly. 
" It was bound to come soon. The doctor 
will be here presently ; but he is beyond 
help now." Then, recollection returning, 
bitterness came back into her voice. " And 
that lawyer never came in time ! Well, it 
doesn't make so much difference now." 

" Mother, you're brutal. How can you I 
He's dead." 

" I know. I was only making the best 
of it." 

" Mother, can't you understand ? " But 
she was interrupted by a loud ringing and 
knocking at the hall door. 

Jane gave a grim smile. " There's that' 
man ! Too late ! I'll go and let him in." 

She went out and Mary crossed over to 
the bed. Half afraid, and struggling with 
her sobs, she looked at the dead face, and 
then drew the sheet up over it ; sinking, 
then, trembling on to a chair beside the 
bed, and staring before her in horror. 

(4) 

CHARLES CROSBY was a mean and 
insignificant little man who lived a 
mean and insignificant little life. He 
was a cousin of James Smith, on whom from 
time to time he preyed. For James Smith 
was the rich relation of Charles Crosby and 
various others ; in fact, Charles, at the time 
of our story, was a good many hundred 
pounds in debt to James. Now James 
was at heart a kind and generous man. 
In addition to his periodic compliances with 
his cousin's request for money he had 
privately intimated to him that, although 
these moneys were loans on which interest 
had to be paid during his life, at his death 
he would wipe the slate clean. Hence it 
happened that when Cousin Charles heard 
the news of James's accident his heart was 
filled with conflicting emotions. Sorrow, 
of course, for James's hard fate, a certain 
elation, I fear, at the possible prospect of 
a freedom from periodical payments of 
interest, and, most of all, anxiety lest 
anything should chance to go wrong with 
the plans he knew were in James's mind 
as to the redemption of the debt in his 
last will and testament. 

Hence Cousin Charles thought it diplo- 
matic to pay a visit to James to inquire 
after his health ; and it was he, and not the 
solicitor, whom Jane found at the door. 

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181 



" Oh ! it's you, Charles, is it ? " she said 
with a start, and then, brusquely : " Come 
in ! He's dead ! " 

Charles gasped : " Dead ! " 

Jane was not in a condition to stand 
nonsense. " Yes, dead, I said," she rasped. 
" You'd better come upstairs." 

They went up in silence. 

" Mary ! " said Jane, throwing open the 
bedroom door. " It isn't the solicitor ; 
it's Mr. Crosby." 

Mary, fortified by her conventional train- 
ing, found it possible to utter the ordinary 
" How d'do, Mr. Crosby ? " adding : " Isn't 
this terrible ? " 

" Terrible ! terrible ! " whined Charles 
in his most sanctimonious voice. 

" Did he die peacefully ? " continued 
Charles. 

For a moment Jane could not reply. Then 
with an effort she answered calmly, " Oh — 
er — quite - peacefully. He passed away 
almost in his sleep. We never knew he 
was dead till dear Mary went to see if he 
wanted anything, and found he — he had 
gone." 

This was a little too much for the less 
hardened daughter, and Mary, with a 
shudder, uttered an involuntary " Oh ! " 

But Janexaught her up, " Yes," she went 
on quickly, " he was spared any suffering 
at the last." 

" Good ; good ! " snuffled Cousin Charles. 
Then, in a hushed voice, he asked : " May 
I— look at him ? " 

" Of course," assented Jane, and they 
went to the bed. 

By this time Jane had quite recovered 
her self-possession, and, glancing from the 
corpse to the cousin, she observed almost 
humorously : " You have a look of James, 
you know." There was something a little 
lacking in tact, Charles thought, in com- 
paring him to a corpse. But he assented, 
" Yes, same blood, of course ; even second 
cousins are relations. Ha ! ha ! " Then, 
relapsing into solemnity : " Poor James ! " 

Jane replaced the sheet over her son-in- 
law's face, and she and Charles wandered 
back to their seats. For a moment or two 
there was an awkward silence. Then 
Charles's tact asserted itself. " A good 
man ! " he piously ejaculated, " a generous 
man. In fact, he did me a good turn 
more than once. I can tell you frankly — 
we are all friends — practically relations — 
he lent me five hundred pounds at various 
times. I call that generous, don't you ? 
And, what's more, he told me privately 
that he'd make it all right before he died. 
He was going to let off all his debtors, he said, 
dear chap, in his own humorous way, once he 
was certain he was permanently provided for 
himself. He'd see to that in his will." 



Jane gave a start. " His will ? " 

" Yes. In fact," went on Charles confi- 
dentially, " that is one of the reasons I 
came round to-day. To see him," he 
hastily added, " of course, to see him ; 
but just to remind him, too, of his promise. 
No need, though ; he was always" a man of 
business, and a man of his word." 

" James has left no will ! " The words 
came out like bullets from a machine gun, 
and had almost as great an effect on Charles. 

" What ? " he gasped. 

" He sent for a solicitor half an hour ago, 
to make his will ; but he's died before the 
man's come. We're expecting him any 
minute." -*• r 

"My God! " 

"Yes," assented Jane, with a near 
approach to a smile, and then went on with 
determination: "It's worse for us. The 
whole property goes to that scapegrace, 
John ! " She had almost forgotten to 
maintain the air of a victim of disaster, 
but she suitably reassumed it. 

" We are disinherited," she pronounced, 
" by fate." 

For a moment Charles was even able 
nobly to forget his own hundreds in con- 
templating the greater catastrophe of 
another. 

" Good heavens ! " he murmured. " This 
is a terrible thing." 

After which his own hundreds began to 
rise to the surface again, and altogether 
he was considerably moved. 

" It's diabolical ! " he cried, suddenly, 
pulling at his beard. And then he let his 
feelings get the better of him, and fairly 
shouted at the old woman. 

" Oh, why — why couldn't you keep him 
alive ? " 

" We did our best," said Jane, in an 
injured tone. 

" Was there no way to sustain him ? 
Alcohol ? Oxygen ? " 

Jane was on her defence, and stiffly 
observed, " Mr. Crosby, I have been a 
nurse. I did all I could." 

" Forgive me," apologized Charles. " I 
know you would be gentleness and efficiency 
itself. I am sorry I was hasty. My 
feelings " and he tailed off. 

Jane was generous. 

" Not at all. I know how you must be 
feeling. It is indeed terribly unjust — to us 
all." 

" Cheated ! " muttered the old man half 
to himself ; and there was silence for a 
moment. 

All this time Mary had sat, overwhelmed, 
in her chair. While the conversation 
lapsed Jane looked intently at Crosby, and 
thought. Suddenly she started, and glanced 
quickly, at^Mary, who did not see her look, 



;kly at Mary, wno did not 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



1 82 



"E. & O.E. 



99 



but remained lethargic. The light of resolve 
came into the woman's eyes, and she became 
suddenly alert. Turning to Mary she said 
in a slightly constrained voice : " Mary, 
run ,into my bedroom, will you, and fetch 
me a handkerchief ? Put a little eau de- 
Cologne on it, dear." 

As soon as Mary had obediently dis- 
appeared, Jane jumped up and went over 
to Charles, whom she addressed in low, 
quick tones. 

" Yes ; cheated ; that's it ; we've been 
cheated ; all of us. By fate. It's not 
fair ; it's not right. Why should James be 
defeated in his intentions, and we all 
defrauded ? It's wrong." 

Charles was somewhat startled at this 
vehemence. 

" I know," he admitted, and then went on 
despairingly, "Oh, well, it can't be helped." 

" It can be helped. It can be helped, I 
tell you." 

" How ? " 

" Listen ! " whispered Jane breathlessly.- 
" We've not a moment to lose. You and I 
must agree ; then we can tell Mary ; she 
won't like it, but she'll have to come in. 
You must be James." 

" Me ? " stammered Charles in bewilder- 
ment. 

" Yes. You're like him. The lawyer 
doesn't know James — hardly at all. He's 
all swathed up in bandages, very feeble; — 
can't write — dictates the will — can't sign—, 
makes his mark — we witness. Oh, don't 
you see ? " 

"Good Lord ! " 

" It's simple — simple ! " . 

" What about — about James ? " 

Jane waved James aside. She leant over 
Charles as if to draw assent from him. 
And half stunned, half hypnotized, he 
muttered : "All right." 

THEN Mary entered with the handker- 
chief. As Jane took it from her 
daughter she clasped hold of her 
hands. 

" Mary," she said in a low voice, " I 
want you to stand by me." 

" Of course I will, mother." 

" I want you to help put the things right 
that James hadn't time — hadn't the time 
to do." 

" What do you mean ? " 

" We must carry out James's intentions." 

" But we can't." 

" We can." 

" How ? What intentions ? " 

Jane looked fixedly into Mary's eyes, 
and gripped her hands. 

" The intentions James had of making 
his will, and doing justice to us and Mr. 
Crosby here before he died."£ 



>gie 



" Oh, God ! " exclaimed Mary, recoiling 
in horror ; but her mother held her firmly.. 
After a moment's pause she looked up into 
her mother's eyes. " But — but how could 
that be done — if we wanted to ? " 

Jane gave a slight sigh of relief. She was 
well on her way to victory when it came to 
ways and means. 

" It's quite easy. Here's Mr. Crosby — 
very like James ; we'll let him take James's 
part, and make the will." 

At last Mary realized, and it was with 
greater horror this time that she cried : 
" Oh, no ! no ! " 

" Mary ! " commanded her mother 
strongly. " Don't be a fool. This is right, 
it's " — this stuck in her throat a bit, but 
she managed to get out — " justice." 

" Mother ! " gasped Mary, revolted. 

Jane was angry. " Yes, it is — the truest 
justice. You know it is. If you think 
clearly, you'll see it is. Now come, there's 
not a moment to waste. That man may be 
here any minute." And then, disregarding 
her daughter, she turned briskly to Crosby. 

" You must come with me." 

Mary was not won. Sinking into a chair 
she sullenly murmured : — 

" It's— awful. I won't help." 

jane resisted anger nobly. " Do be 
sensible ! " she pleaded ; but Mary shook 
her head. 
- " Oh, very well. Come on, Mr. Crosby. 
You must get — changed, and then I'll put 
your bandages on. Mary, at least you 
must keep theni out till we are ready." 

Charles hacl been sitting, during this 
conversation, in palpitating thought, and 
now he resisted. 

" Oh, well — but I don't know ; what 
does it mean ? " 

" Mean ? It means five hundred pounds 
to you ; and justice to us," cried Jane, and 
then, rather as an after- thought, " and, of 
course, it means we are carrying out James's 
wishes. Come ! you must. It is only right, 
your duty — come quick ! " 

She hustled him out, and Mary was left 
sunk in her chair, clenching and unclenching 
her hands. She was still sitting in solemn 
thought when Jane and Charles re-entered, 
Charles, now, with a nightshirt over his 
own clothes, and his head swathed in 
bandages. For a moment she did not 
hear them, and when she looked round and 
up at the old man's rather gruesome presence 
she gave a terrified cry. 

" Don't be afraid, Mrs. Smith," said 
Charles in a shaking voice. 

" It's all right," answered Mary, faintly. 

" Come ! " said Jane quickly to Charles. 
" We must move him." and added to Mary : 
" You needn't help, if you don't like, 
Perhaps you'd better sit quiet there." 



ps yc 
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ERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Eliot Crawshay- Williams 



183 



She went to the bed, reluctantly accom- 
panied by Charles. 

" Where shall we put it ? " asked the old 
man in a hushed and frightened voice. 
Quickly correcting himself , " him, I mean/' 
he added. 

Jane pointed to the wardrobe. " We 
might be seen putting him in. the next 
room. He must go in the wardrobe/' 

Charles didn't like the job. " Oh, Lord ! " 
he groaned. f 

But he helped ; and the two together 
turned down the sheets, and took James's 
body out. It was a laborious job, and not 
done very well. The body, at one time, 
slipped to the floor with a thump, which drew 
an agonized " Oh ! " from 
Mary, who had turned 
away so that she could not 
see what was happening, 
There was silence, except 
for the noises made by the 
removal, and the heavy 
breathing of Jane and 
Crosby, At last they 
managed to cram the 
corpse into the cupboard, 
and after several efforts 
they pushed the door to 
and fastened it, 

Charles wiped his fore- 
head. "Thank God, 
that's done. Oh, dear, 
I'm worried. This is 
dreadful/' 

" Pull yourself to- 
gether, man/' 
said Jane, with 
contemptuous 
courage; "it will soon be 
over," 

Suddenly Charles stood 
in thought, looking far 
away, through Jane, 
through the walls, out « ? ou *™ le ]' 

into space. Then he what you want/* 
smiled. " that will 

" That's better!" con- 
gratulated Jane, somewhat surprised at the 
effect of her exhortation. 

Charles turned away still smiling. 

" Oh ? there's an element of humour about 
it all, isn't there ? — of a gruesome kind, of 
a gruesome kind/ 1 

AT this moment there came a ring and 
y^ a knocking at the outside door, which 
made everyone start. Jane hastily 
turned to Charles. 

" Quick [ Into bed with you t " 
She hustled him in, tucked him up, and 
turned to Mary. 

" Now, dear, will you let him in ? Ji 
Mary went. Jane gave a last look to 



Mr. Stone, 




the bed, and bending over the old impostor 
whispered : " Now, be strong 1 And mind 
you're very weak. Faint voice. And don't 
turn over. Just speak. You know your 
part. Leave everything to Mary ; nothing 
to me, because I must witness." 

Charles answered in a muffled voice, 
11 Oh t yes, I know my part. Nothing to 
you ; I'll remember." 

Then Mary entered with Mr* Stone. 
Mr. Stone was a solicitor, and that descrip- 
tion is sufficient. He carried his hat and 
stick in his left hand, and a small bag in 
his right. Mary presented the new-comer 
to her mother, 

this is my mother, Mrs. 
Mackintosh," 

Mr. Stone put his bag 
on the table and shook 
hands with Jane, who 
rose to meet him. 

"How dye do, Mrs. 
Mackintosh ? "■' 

With perfect histrionic 
ease, Jane had assumed 
her part, " We are very 
glad to see you, Mr, 
Stone," she said, in a 
hushed voice. " We were 
afraid you might be too 
late. You are only just 
irt time." 

Mr, Stone was careful 
not to let his voice carry 
to the bed. 

" Oh, I hope not, I hope 
not. Sometimes, you 
know, one thinks a case 
worse than it is." 

11 I am afraid one 
could scarcely think 
this case worse than it 
is," observed Jane, 
grimly. 

"Really — really? I am 
sorry." Then he turned 
to Mary. 

" Will you tell your 
husband I am here ? He is asleep ? " 

Jane was taking no chances, and she 
intercepted. " Drowsy ; very drowsy. And 
very weak, Mr, Stone * so weak, so very 
near the end, that all he will be able to do 
will be to dictate his will* We dare not 
let him move, and his arms were terribly 
injured in the accident, so that he cannot 
even sign the wilh But I think he will be 
able to make his mark." 

" That will do — with witnesses." 
" Then I will tell him you are here/ 1 
She went to the bed and shook Charles 
very gently, 

" James ! Mr. Stone is here." 

In a very weak and slow voice the old 

VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



me, quite simply, 

said the solicitor, 
be enough/* 



184 



"E. & O.E. 



3* 



man faltered. " Oh, Mr. Stone, Mr. Stone ? 
Thank you." Then, a little loudei, " Mr. 
Stone, I am very ill." 

Mr. Stone had approached, the bed by 
thiS time. 

44 I am very sorry to hear it. I 
trust " 

But Charles cut him short. " Let us get 
to business ; I have so little strength left 
that I must waste none of it on trivialities. 
I want to make my will." Here he gasped 
a little, and then went on, " Are you ready ? 
I will dictate." 

The solicitor went to his bag, produced a 
form therefrom, and returned to seat 
himself on the bed. 

44 Pray go on." 

In an almost dying voice Charles gave hi? 
instructions. 

" I wish my will to be only a few words — 
only a few words. It need be no more, 
need it ? " 

" If you will tell me, quite simply, what 
you want, that will be enough. I will 
frame it for you, and read it." 

44 I don't want technicalities. I will say 
what I mean." 

44 There need be no technicalities, Mr. 
Smith, if your meaning is perfectly clear." 

44 My meaning shall be perfectly clear. 
But I want to say one thing before I start 
to dictate. As you may know, Mr. Stone, 
my nearest relations are my wife and a son 
by a former marriage." 

" So I understand." 

44 Well, I want you to know that if my 
will does not appear to provide for all those 
to whom I seem to owe a natural affection, 
I have my reasons." 

Stone was without embarrassment, being 
a solicitor. 

44 I understand that, unfortunately, your 
son " 

44 Never mind details, please," inter- 
rupted Charles. " All I want to make 
clear is that, however little my will may 
seem based on natural affection, I have my 
reasons, my own reasons." 

44 Of course, of course, Mr. Smith. It is 
no business of mine to inquire those reasons ; 
nor can they make any difference to the 
validity of the will." 

" Quite so. I am glad to be assured of 
that. Well, then, I will begin," 

Stone got ready to write. 

" Can you hear me ? " 

" Perfectly." 

"This is the last will and testament of 
me, James Smith, of 14a,, Stanwell Gardens, 
London." . - . 

"London," repeated the solicitor, taking 
it down. ... 

44 Is'that right as a beginning ? " 

" Absolutely." 

Digitized by LjOOgle 



" I give and bequeath — is that the right 
expression ? " 

" Yes." 

4 ' All my estate." 

" Real and personal estate ? " 

" Real and personal estate." 

" Shall I add : ' of every description ' ? " 

" Yes, please," and then he continued 
firmly : "To my old and valued friend 
Charles Crosby." 

At these astonishing words Jane gave a 
violent start. Mary, who had been more 
or less dazed, was galvanized into an 
" Oh ! " Charles, however, went on feebly 
but calmly : " Does one put ' absolutely ' ? " 

By this time the solicitor realized he had 
happened on a drama, but he wore a pro- 
fessionally unmoved face. 

" It is better," he observed. 

" ' Absolutely,' then. And will you put 
in the usual bit about revoking all other 
wills, and so on ? " 

4 Certainly. What about an executor ? " 

44 Oh, Crosby." 

" Very well." 

DURING this dialogue the atmosphere 
in the other part of the room had been 
volcanic. Jane had moved rapidly over 
to Mary, and, her face livid with passion, had 
been talking to her in rapid whispers, to 
which Mary had only been able to utter 
monosyllables or shake her head. 

Charles gave a deep sigh of relief. 

" Will you read it to me, please ? " 

And Stone read : " 4 This is the last will 
and testament of me, James Smith, of 
14a, Stan well Gardens, London. I give 
and bequeath all my real and personal 
estate of every description to my old and 
valued friend, Charles Crosby, absolutely. 
And I appoint the said Charles Crosby sole 
executor of this, my will, and revoke all 
previous wills by me at any time heretofore 
made, and declare this writing to be my 
last will and testament. In witness where- 
of ' — and so on. Is that what you want ? " 

44 That is just what I want, Jane ! " 

Jane looked hurriedly up. 

" Td have liked to have left you some 
little thing for old times' sake, but then 
you couldn't have witnessed, you know ; 
and I know you particularly want to witness 
my will." 

This w$s the final touch, and it moved 
Jane to fury. 

44 I will not witness your will. Nor, I 
know, will Mary," she shouted. 

Charles was quite resigned. " Oh, very 
well, we'll have to have the servant in. 
She and Mr. Stone will do." 

Jane was raging, but beaten. It was 
worse to have the servant in. 

" Oh, all right; I'M sign," she muttered. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Eliot Crawshay- Williams 



185 



" Thank you, jane. I knew you would/* 
smoothly crooned Charles, and then he 
turned to the solicitor, 

" Will you please put the document right 
down here, by my poor hand ? I can only 
just hold the pen to make my mark/' 

Stone lent over him to his far side, placed 
the deed conveniently, gave him the pen 
to hold, and he managed, with difficult y t to 
make the necessary symbol, 

* iH There now, it's over ! " gasped the old 
man with relief. " Get it witnessed, won't 
you, Mr, Stone ? And then I can die in 
peace. I'd like to get Mary's signature, 
too, if she will do me the honour," 

Stone took the document round to Jane, 
who signed it, as did Mary. The hands of 
both the women were as unsteady as their 
voices and their wits + Stone turned to 
Charles with a congratulatory smile, 

11 It is all finished, Mr. Smith/' 

" Thank you ; thank you. 1 am deeply 
obliged. And I cannot tell you how glad 
I am that you have caught me in time, I 
will take the will myself, I think, Mr, Stone. 
Somehow I have a feeling I should like to 
die with that will in my possession. A 
queer fancy, isn't it ? " He laughed feebly. 
" But we dying men must be humoured, 
mustn't we, Mr. Stone ? — must be 
humoured." 

Even the professional Stone was em- 
barrassed, 

" Oh, you'll get well yet, and live for 
years, I hope." 

" I hope so, too," cackled Charles, 
" Indeed 1 hope so ; live for years — for 
many years. Hut, somehow, I think James 
Smith is practically dead already/' 

M With your courage ■" hopefully began 

Mr. Stone ; but Charles interrupted him. 

" Yes ; one has to have courage, doesn't 



one ? And courage finds its reward. In 
queer ways, sometimes, Mr. Stone. But — I 
detain you. Pity you cant detain me, 
isn't it ? '* He cackled again, " But you 
can't. And I don't want you to. No ; 
I wouldn't have you detain poor James 
Smith. I don't want to be rude, but I 
feel like the man who said to his friend : 
1 Will you be pleased to leave the room ; 
I wish to die.' " 

The solicitor was only too anxious to be 
off — he was beginning to feel uncomfortable. 

" Here is your will/' he said, giving it 
to him and tucking it under the bed- 
clothes, f ' and I can only hope you will live 
longer than you think." 

" No ; James Smith is better dead, on 
the whole. Thank you, Mr, Stone. Good- 
bye," 

Charles sank into apparent lethargy, 
cuddling his will. By the fire the two 
women stood together in a state of volcanic 
suppression. 

Stone got his bag off the table and went 
to say good-bye. 

(H Good-bye, Mrs- Mackintosh ! " and he 
shook hands with Jane. * 'Good-bye, Mrs, 
Smith . ! J ' and he added, consolingly, "I 
still hope something unexpected may 
happen." 

Mary shook his hand. 

-i Thank you, Mr + Stone. Good-bye," 

HIS farewells over, the solicitor crossed 
to get his hat and stick ; his way led 
past the wardrobe, and just as he 
was opposite the door he tripped slightly 
and put his hand out to steady him- 
self. Instantly from within the wardrobe 
came a rumbling sound ; the doors burst 
open, and the corpse of James Smith fell 
headlong out. 




■ 



VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



1 86 



PERPLEXITIES. By Henry E. Dudeney. 



61 1. —PERPETUAL CHECK. 

A correspondent (J. >L) asks, " What are the 

fewest possible moves in which a position in a game 

of chess may be reached in which perpetual check 

may be farced ? " He gives the example shown, 

BLACK, 



I 

i 



' ;'<■ 



J.**'!* 



IP* 




VVHJTE* 

which may be reached in six moves, as follows : 
i, P-K 3l P-Q 3 ; 3 . Kt-K B j, P-K Kt 3 ; 
3. Kt-Q 4, B— R 3"; 4- Q-B 3. B— Kt 4 ; 5 Kt— 
K 6, Kt— 2 r t 6, Kt— Kt 7, ch,, and White has a per- 
petual check by playing the knight alternately to 
K 6 and Kt 7* Well, I find a good many ways of 
doing it in six moves, but it can be done in three* Can 
you find how ? Of course the play, as in the example 
given* may be absurd , but the moves must be strictly 
legal for both sides* And it is not to the point to say 
that the Kt can win the Q and the game and therefore 
White would not draw. 

612.— MARKET TRANSACTIONS. 
Here is a form of puzzle that is always very popu* 
lar, judging by the letters I receive. A farmer goes to 
market and buys 100 animals at a total cost of £100* 
The price of cows being £5 each, sheep £1 each t and 
rabbits is, each, how many of each kind does he buy ? 
Most people will solve this, if they succeed at all* by 
more or le>s laborious trial, but ihuTti are several direct 
ways of get ling the solution, though it is quite im- 
possible within the limits of space allotted to me 
to make them clear to the reader. 



613.— TWO LITTLE PARADOXES. 
A CHILD may ask a question that will profoundly 
perplex a learned philosopher, and we are often meet- 
ing with paradoxes that demand a little thought before 
we can explain them in simple language* The follow- 
ing was recently put to me 1 " Imagine & man going 
to the North Pole, The points of the compass are, as 
everybody knows. 

W E 

S 

He reaches the Pole and, having passed over it f must 
turn about to look north* East is now on his left- 
hand side* west on his right-hand side, and the points 
of the compass therefore 

N 
E W 

S 
which is absurd* What is the explanation ? " 



e explanation ? 

vVtOOgle 



1 was lately standing with a child in front of a large 
mirror that reflected the whole body. " Why is it/* 
asked the intelligent youngster, " that I am turned 
right Tound in the mirror so that right is left and left 
right, and yet top is not bottom and bottom top ? If 
it reverses sideways, why does it not reverse length- 
ways ? Why am 1 not shown standing on my head ? " 



614— AN ENIGMA. 
Mv head and tail both equal arc, 
My middle slender as a bee. 
Whether I stand on head or hee! 
Is quite the same to you or me. 
But if my head should be cut off. 
The matter's true, though passing strange, 
Directly I to nothing change. 



Solutions to Last Month s Puzzles, 

6o6.^DIGITAL SQUARES. 
In every one of the following eight sums all the nine 
digits are used once and the difference between the 
successive totals is throughout 9 :• — 

343 341 154 317 216 315 318 235 
*75 58* 782 626 738 748 654 74° 

918 927 936 945 954 9*3 972 9^1 



607.— LETTER MULTIPLICATION. 
The answer is 54618 x 3 = 163854* 



608*— FOLDING A PENTAGON, 
By folding A over, find C, so that B C equals A B. 
Then fold as in fig* i t across the point A, and this will 
give you the point D- Now fold as in fig* 2, making 




the edge of the ribbon lie along A B, and you will have 
the point E. Continue to fold as in FIG* 3, and so on, 
until all the ribbon lies on the pentagon. This, as I 
have said, is very easy, but it is interesting and in- 

structive- 

609.— MISSING WORDS, 
The words in their order are : I, it, tie, rite, inter, 
retain, certain, reaction, cremation* importance. 



610*— A CHESS CHARADE* 
The word £itf#6feMJfftl 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i8 7 



TOPPIE EDWARDS 

c 7Ae Afan wAo 
y^X o to (^ rap As 
tAe AAews 

SIDNEY DARK 




YOU will find him in an office in a 
court off Fleet Street. A short, 
clean-shaven, fair man, with an air 
of eager, cheerful friendliness. The 
walls of his office are covered with American 
business mottoes. " Let's "talk business." 
iH When you're down in the month, think 
nf the Prophet Jonah. He came out all 
right I" " Smile and hustle/' " When there 
is nothing to do— the Boss will do it/' 

" Smile and the world smiles with you, 
Kick and yon kick alone ; 
For the cheerful grin will let you in 
Where the Kicker is never known. " 

His name is W. J. Edwards, and he is 
director of the Topical Press Agency {hence 
the name " Toppie M Edwards, by which all 
Fleet Street knows him), the first organiza- 
tion ever created for the distribution of 
photographs to newspapers and periodicals 
in the same way as the great news agencies 
— Press Association, Renter's, Central News, 
The Associated Press, and so on — distribute 
the news itself. 

In his office Mr, Edwards has an amazing 
library that contains a million and a half 
photographic subjects and two hundred 
thousand negatives* There is not a living 
person of any distinction whose photograph 
he cannot supply at a moments notice; 
there is not an event of any importance that 
has happened during the last twenty years 
of which he cannot supply a reproduction. 
Press photography is a comparatively recent 
industry. It now employs thousands of 
persons all over the world , and the distribu- 
tion of the photographs is cosmopolitan. 
For example, pictures of Princess Mary's 
wedding appeared in the Press in Buenos 
Ayres as well as in Birmingham, in Bucha- 
rest as well as in Bristol. Just as newsp 




have their correspondents in every city of 
importance, so the Topical Press Agency 
has its representatives everywhere. 

In the early days of Press photography 
the photographer had to face considerable 
prejudice, and even to-day a successful Press 
photographer must be a tactful diplomat. 
During the Paris Peace Conference there was 
an amusing example of the photographer's 
difficulties which I myself witnessed. The 
Treaty between the Allies and Austria was 
signed in the Chateau of St. Germain, which 
has nowadays been turned into a museum. 
Specimen cases stood round the walls of the 
room in which the plenipotentiaries met. An 
enterprising photographer climbed up on to 
these cases and balanced himself and his 
camera on the wooden frames. Just as Dr. 
Renner, the chief Austrian representative, 
was making a pathetic appeal for merciful 
treatment, this gentleman slipped and he 
and his camera went w f ith a crash through 
the glass. M. Clemenceau's indignation at 
the occurrence is something that I recall now 
with considerable amusement. 

But Mr. Edwards, who is certainly one of 
the fathers, if not the actual father, of his 
profession, assured me that the difficulties 
were to him the chief attraction of the work, 
" Tell me I can't and I will/' he said, and he 
gave me many examples of the ingenuity 
that has often been exhibited to secure pic- 
tures that have appeared in the daily Press. 
For example, during the reign of King 
Edward photographers were forbidden to 
lake pictures of the ceremony of the Trooping 
of the Colour. So Mr, Edwards supplied 
his men with sectional poles, commonly 
used by chimney-sweeps. The cameras 
were fixed at the top of the pole, and the 
shutter was worked by a pneumatic bulb 
at the other e@jli.gin a I from 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i88 



c< Toppie ? * Edwards 



Some time ago some resentment was caused 
by the photographers who attended race 
meetings and took photographs of the more 
distinguished habituSs. Their manners were 
rather crude, perhaps, and it was annoying 
for a woman, dashing to make a bet p to be 
asked to pose for a gentleman with a hand- 
camera. So the order came from authority 
that no photographers were to be allowed in 
the enclosures. This did not daunt Mr. 
Edwards. He fitted one side of a pair of 
field-glasses with a Zeiss photographic lens 
an inch by an inch arid a h^lf in size. The 
photographer .held up the apparently inno- 
cent field-glasses to his eyes, caught the focus, 
touched a" spring, and the picture was taken, 
It was afterwards/ of course, enlarged. 
i The committee of a famous cricket ciub 
sold the monopoly of taking photographs 
of the^ matches played oh their ground to^a 
rival concern. Mr. Edwards hates monopo- 
lies, 't goes against his grain to be shut 
out from anywhere. So he hired the top 
room of a house in the neighbourhood and 
there he planted his photographer • with a 
specially made Jong-distance camera with a 
forty-inch Voigtlander lens, which enabled him 
to get almost as good pictures as his rivals 



inside the ground. He told me that this 
identical camera, which is four feet long, was 
particularly useful in securing pictures of 
yacht - racing, where the photographer is 
necessarily at a very considerable distance 
from the object which he wishes to reproduce, 

Mr, Edwards broke another photographic 
monopoly at the White City. He was unable 
to take photographs from the ground in the 
ordinary way, so he persuaded Spencer, the 
well-known balloonist, to let him go up with 
him in the captive balloon that was floating 
over the Exhibition, and from this position 
he obtained one of the most wonderful pano- 
ramic photographs I have ever seen. Inci- 
dentally this feat nearly cost Mr, Edwards 
his life, 'for the photograph was taken on a 
very stormy day r and, in its descent, the bal- 
loon crashed against the telegraph wires in 
Wood Lane, and both aeronaut and photo- 
grapher only just escaped being thrown out. 

In the days before the use of aeroplanes 
had become common, panoramic photographs 
of such events as the Derby were taken by 
fixing a camera to the tail of a kite which was 
controlled by a cable worked by a sixty- 
pound winch. The shutter was released by 
electricity. 




The most wonderful news-photograph ever taken, showing the scene in Madrid at 
the actual moment the bomb was thrown at the King and Queen of Spain on 

their wedding-day, Original from 
*J by V^OOglL UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Sidney Dark 



189 



In 1906 Mr. 
Edwards was sent 
out by the Illus- 
trated London 
News to take 
photographs of the 
marriage of the 
present King and 
Queen of Spain in 
Madrid, It will be 
remembered that 
an attempt was 
made to assassi- 
nate the King 
while the wedding 
procession was 
proceeding through 
the streets of the 
capital. By a pure 
accident, a Span- 
iard with a small 
hand - cam era was 
taking a snap of 
the procession just 
as the attempt on 
the life of the King 
was made. No 
other photographer 
was on the spot, 
and none of the 
English photo- 
graphic representa- 
tives knew that 
such a picture had 
been taken nntil 
it appeared next 
morning in one of 
the Madrid papers," 
Mr. Edwards, who 
is pushfulness, 
hustle, and ingen- 
uity personified, 
secured the rights 
of this picture 




The funeral procession of the late King Carlos of Portugal, The 
difficulties attending the taking of this photograph are described 

on the next page. 



for England, and the 
value of photographic copyrights may be 
gathered from the fact that alter this 
particular picture had appeared in the Illus- 
trated London News the second rights were 
sold for as much as one hundred pounds. 
Now that the market is so much wider and 
so many more papers print photographs, 
the fees are much larger than they were 
sixteen years ago, During the war Mr- 
Edwards seenred a pathetic photograph of a 
Serbian soldier, sick and wounded, sitting on 
the steps of a hospital in Nisch. This photo- 
graph is said to he the most poignant repre- 
sentation of agony ever taken by the camera, 
aind it has earned in fees over five hundred 
potmds. This fignre gives some idea of the 
size of the market and the profit-earning 
possibilities of one of the most modern of all 
industries. 

The international organization of the Press 



photographic industry was not entirely inter- 
rupted by the war. Dutch photographers 
were al lowed by the German authorities to 
take photographs inside the German lines. 
These photographs, in due time, reached the 
offices of the Topical Press, and prints of 
them were regularly sent by Mr. Edwards 
to the naval and military authorities. In 
this way it sometimes happened that \^ry 
valuable information was secured. The 
Admiralty, for instance, learned much that 
was of vital importance concerning the 
fortifications of Ostend from Dutch pictures 
which reached them through Mr. Edwards's 
good offices. 

" Never be beaten, and always do your 
best to beat the other fellow/' is another of 
Mr. Edwards's professional mottoes. He has 
never been content to take a picture from 
the second-best position when the actual best 
conld be reached with ingenuity and a certain 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



igo 



u Toppie r Edwards 



measure of good-natured impudence. He 
was in Lisbon at the time of the funeral 
of the late King Carlos* Accredited Press 
correspondents and photographers were 
allowed to stand at a point where something 
could be seen , but not enough for Mr, 
Edwards's purpose. So he promptly crossed 
the street and knocked at the door of a house. 
Naturally, after the assassination of the King 
and the Crown Prince, the people of Lisbon 
were suspicious of strangers and fearful of 
further anarchist outrages. The house at 
which Sir. Edwards knocked belonged to a 



of the workmen, M Somebody will break his 
neck going np that ladder ; you had better 
take it away." The man took the hint and 
five shillings for himself* The ladder was 
removed and no other photographer had Mr. 
Edwards's advantage, and he alone secured a 
really effective picture of an interesting 
political event. 

Probably the reason why Mr. Edwards has 
been so successful is that he thoroughly 
enjoys himself all the time. " My work/ 1 
he said to me, '* is not work at all. It's 
sport." He starts out to snap a big event in 



W» *«J «^v >* X '« 


, . ...... 

* £ S €K? i 






1 ^ sf^ **'" 





This exclusive photograph of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain addressing a Birmingham crowd 
waa taken shortly before the end of his political career. 



rjaval officer who fortunately could speak 
English (fortune generally favours the enter- 
prising), and, after some hesitation, he allowed 
the photographer to go on to his roof, where, 
by iying in an extremely uncomfortable 
position and balancing his camera on the 
parapet, he was able to secure a complete 
picture of the funeral procession. 

He showed similar enterprise in securing a 
really remarkable photograph of Mr, Cham- 
berlain addressing a Hirmingham crowd 
shortly before the end of his political career. 
The town hall was being repaired. Mr, 
Edwards, with his camera, climbed up the 
ladder on to the scaffolding and said to one 

Digitized by Cji 



exactly the same spirit as another man goes 
out to shoot pheasants ; and when he bags 
his game and the other fellow misses, he has 
just the same satisfaction as a runner who 
wins a hardly-contested sprint race with a 
satisfactory prize for the winner. Races, of 
course, are not won without training, and the 
successful photograph is not secured without 
the most careful planning and preparation. 

Few trials in modern times have aroused 
such wide interest as the trial of Mme. 
Steinheil, " the tragic widow," for the murtier 
of her husband in Paris. Mme. Steinheil wes 
a well-known figure in Paris life and was the 
dose friend.jofj.Alj Faure, the then President 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Sidney Dark 



191 




Mme. Steinheil photographed after 
her acquittal in the famous trial a lew 
years ago. As soon as this portrait was 
taken she was hidden away outside 
Paris, out of reach of other journalists, 
until the print* had been published in 
England, 

of the French Republic. _It was, gene- 
rally understood that the French jury 
would acquit the lady, and every 
Press correspondent and photo- 
grapher in Paris had "been instructed 
to interview her or to get her picture. 
But Mr. Edwards's agent in Paris 
had already made his bargain. He 
had a fast motor-car outside the 
Palais de Justice, Mme. Steinheil 
was smuggled out of a side door 
and spirited away to the Hotel Ter- 
minus, the other journalists following 
her own car. She was photographed 
in a private room at the hotel, and 
as soon as the photographs were 
taken she was hurried away again 
to a retreat outside Paris, where she 
was able to hide from the most pry- 
ing of journalists until her pictures 
had reached London and had been 
produced in the English newspapers* 
Speed is j of course, vital in every- 
thing to do with the newspaper busi- 
ness. The news paragraphs and the 
photographs that are topical to-day 
acre out of date to-morro%v, and it 
is the business of the Press photog- 
rapher not only to get his picture, 
but to hurry it to the newspa 

Diqilized by vV 



office as speedily as possible* Mr. Edwards 
regards the taking of the pictures of 
the Dempsey-Carpentier fight as perhaps 
the greatest achievement of his career. The 
negatives were taken from the ring-side 
to New York by aeroplane, arriving just 
too late to catch the Caronia, They 
were put on a fast tug which carried a 
seaplane, and the tug started to chase the 
great liner, the films being transferred twenty* 
five miles out at sea, Arrangements had 
been made at Liverpool with the Customs 
authorities to allow the films to be taken 
ashore without any investigation. The ship 
anchored at 6.15, the films were landed at 
6.30. A fast motor-car was waiting to take 
them to the Liverpool aerodrome, which they 
reached at 7.6, and at nine they were at 
Croydon. The smallest hitch might have 
cost hours of delay. The rights of reproduc- 
tion had been sold (or large sums of money 
to the illustrated dailies, and early on the day 
when they were expected, Mr. Edwards told 
me, he was rung up once every quarter of An 




How the Dempsey-Carpentier pictures were delivered 
in England — showing the canister containing the films, 
surrounded by corks and wooden floats in case it 
should have fallen into the water whilst being delivered 
aper to the Ccr^ma olsi sft sea, 

UU <V L UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



192 



" Toppie ' Edwards 



I ' X 



tfS L 4' 



AlVfM 









Mr. Edwards's car being pulled out of a swamp in the Apennines by 

a team of oxen — there is a distinct touch of irony in this picture of 

yesterday rescuing to-day, 

hour by the assistant editors to know if he 
had any news. He professes that he was the 
coolest man in London. He knew that e%^ery- 
thing possible had been done, and he was 
really not in the least surprised when his 
organization beat the scheduled time. 

The adventures of the Press photographer 
are well illustrated by the story of the pictures 
taken in Central Africa by Captain Buchanan 
d u ring his recent zoul coital expedition, The 
films were wrapped 
in canvas coverings 
and carried hun- 
dreds of miles by 
native runners to 
Nigeria, from 
where they were 
dispatched by the 
French authorities. 
They reached Lon- 
don safel y, were 
developed, and in 
due time were 
printed in innum- 
erable periodicals. 

I did not find it 
difficult to believe 
Mr. Edwards's 
statement that he 
was very fond of 
travelling, because 
the man is a mass 
of nervous energy 
and is obviously 
unable to keep 
still for any length 
of time. He once 



attempted to cross 
the St, Bernard 
Pass in a motor- 
car. The car was 
a hundred - horse - 
power Italia, but 
the snow was too 
much for the 
motor, and Mr, 
Edwards and his 
companions had to 
be somewhat in- 
glorious! y towed 
up to the hospice 
by mules. During 
the same trip the 
car became stuck 
jn a swamp in 
the Apennines, 
from which it had 
to be rescued by 
a team of oxen. 
The picture of 
this unusual oc- 
currence gives 
Mr, Edwards par- 
ticular joy. There 
is, indeed, a certain irony in yesterday 
rescuing to-day. As I have suggested, 
" Toppie " Edwards is an attractive com- 
pound of humour and energy. He plays 
golf, he helps to run the Press Club, he 
avoids Labour troubles by making his 
employes partners in his business, and he 
is generally an intriguing human personage 
living up to the epigrammatic American 
mottoes that adorn his walls* 




A shooting party at Sandringham. This picture of King Ldwardand his 
friends is said to be one of the most unconventional Royal photographs 

ever taken. Ll j na | from 
<J by VrUUglL UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



SHERLOCK HOLMES IN REAL LIFE 



rwph Fry 1728 



Delicious Plums. 




The large ripe plums now so plentiful are 
a real treat when stewed and served with 
l.ibitvV Lvaporated Milk, This dish win" 
appeal to each member of the family, particu- 
larly the children, for its luscious fruit 
enjoyment. 

Housewives everywhere now serve Libby's 
Evaporated Milk with all stewed* tinned or 
dried fruits, instead of cream. Used iust 
as it comes from the tin. Libby's Evaporated 
Milk has a rich creamy flavour* and adds con- 
siderable nutritive value to all fruit dishes. 
Serve it plentifully and see how the children 
enjoy it. 

Our booklet "Finer Fhvwred Milk 
Dishtw" hiH 0/ ntitxs lor dcliciam creflm 
anti butter iaiing dithes, uitf 6c sent post fret 
iff* appiiiatmn. Send /of your ivpu to-day. 

Libby.M9NeilULibby.Ltd. 

(Deft- 1). Lomdci*. E>C3- 



K&j£jfc*S*. 



Evaporated 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



f 




THE 

STRAND 

MAGAZINE 



September, 1922, 





D 
o 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




^ 



WITH A SUDDEN MOVEMENT HE FLUNG HIMSELF AT ME t I MADE AN ILL DIRECTED 
GRAB AT THE BLUE EMERALD. MISSED IT. BARKED MY KNUCKLES GN THE EDGE 
CF THE BAHN. AND SAW IT SW NGING BACK INTO ITS VERTICAL POSITION. 

QjigktaAi rsun . 



■ i u.MiiiM . ^rigmdnivjiri 

juoglj^ ^ UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




195 



GIBSON AND THE 




BY 



DENIS MACKAIL 






ONCE every two years the Caviare 
Club is closed for cleaning and 
decorating, and for about three 
weeks members are permitted to 
accept the hospitality of some rival institu- 
tion, where they slink about forlornly, ex- 
posed 1 to the critical glances of its inhabitants, 
and feeling rather like new boys during their 
first term at school. It is a difficult period 
for all of us h but at its conclusion we are so 
glad to.be back again in our old quarters 
that it never occurs to us to inquire— as we 
might otherwise do— why the Caviare looks 
just as dirty as it did before we went away. 
In the rapture of regaining our favourite 
chairs and our own wine-hst, this question 
remains unasked and unanswered. And like 
a colony of ants who have been disturbed 
and then replaced, we resume all our former 
habits exactly as though we had never been 
interrupted. It becomes, indeed, almost a 
jx^int of honour to pretend that our banish- 
ment has never taken place. 

I was a little surprised, therefore, when a 
few days after our return from the St. John's 
Club — which ( as of course you know, prides 
itself on its diplomatic and Foreign Office 
connection — Gibson appeared by my side in 
the smoking-room, and inquired : — 

" Well, how dii you get on among the 
proconsuls ? M 

" At the St. John's, do you mean ? " I 
asked. " Oh h nothing to complain of. But 
I only went there once. They seemed 
rather — well , rather f ond ; of talking." 

Gibson nodded agreement* 

u I didn't go at all," he informed me. 
"They let me stay here, because I've got 
one of the bedrooms. But I knew the 
St. John's set well in the old days. I might 
even have been a member by now, if things 
had turned out differently," He smiled 
faintly, and then added : " But perhaps 

VoL k*iv,-l3. 



you didn't realize that I'd ever moved in 
that kind of circle ? " 

11 No," I answered. I didn't particularly 
believe it either, but the time had long passed 
since 1 used to trouble myself about Gibson's 
veracity. . . 

" I did, though/' he went on. '* I was 
two years in the Foreign Office before I 
resigned, in fact, I might well have been 
there yet, but for the jealousy that I aroused 
by being given the Order of the Golden Cow 
when I was still only a Third Secretary," 

" The Golden Cow ? " I repeated, inter- 
rogatively. 

" Yes/' said Gibson. " Fourth Class, with 
the right to remain covered in the presence 
of "everyone below the rank of archdeacon. 
That's a bit of a rarity in these days, even 
at the St, John's Club/' 

I could well believe it, and I said as much. 

" Perhaps it might interest you/' he 
suggested, 1H to hear how it was that 1 
gained such an unusual distinction. What ? 
Oh, no! Quite a short story, 111 tell it 
you at once," . , 

And leaning back in his chair and pressing 
the tips of his long fingers together, he began 
immediately. 

YOU must excuse me (said Gibson) if in tht 
course of this narrative I find it neces 
Nary to suppress or alter the real name^ 
of some of the persons and places concerned 
Quite apart from the provisions of the Official 
Secrets Act, there are good reasons why, in 
the present state of international politics, J 
should tx* very careful to avoid giving any 
clue as to the identity of the very hi^h 
Personages to whom 1 shall have to refer. 
But as regards my own share in the matter 
I shall be as scrupulous in dispensing with 
any kind of exaggeration or misrepresenta- 
tion as — v;dl a.-; vou Iiave always known 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



196 



Gibson and the Blue Emerald 



me to be. And it is, fortunately, with my own 
share that I shall have principally to deal. 

I was, as I have already told you, a Third 
Secretary in the Foreign Office in London. 
For nearly two years I had gone to work 
in a black coat and a bow tie, had shared a 
room looking over the quadrangle with two 
of my colleagues, and for about six hours a 
day had occupied my time either in writing 
minutes to other members of the staff or 
in drafting communications which might 
eventually serve as the basis of official 
despatches. It was, on the whole, both a 
dignified and a peaceful existence, and if 
about ninety-five per cent, of everything 
that I wrote found its final resting-place in 
one of His Majesty's waste-paper baskets, 
no taxpayer had in those days ever been 
heard to complain of it. 

ONE morning in the late spring, when I 
had finished feeding the pigeons on 
my window-sill and was just beginning 
to turn my mind to the thought of work, a 
messenger came in with the intimation that 
Mr. Vere-Tiverton — the head of my branch — 
would be glad if I would step along the 
corridor and see him at once. 

I found him sitting alone in his room, 
writing impressively with a quill pen on 
blue paper, and after I had stood watching 
him for about ten minutes he turned 
abruptly to me and said : — 

" You speak Transylvanian, Mr. Gibson, 
I believe ? " 

" No," I replied. " I'm afraid not." 
Mr. Vere-Tiverton picked up his quill 
and resumed his writing, and I was just on 
the point of returning to my room when he 
suddenly laid it down again and added : — 

II Wait." 

So I waited. Presently he stopped writing, 
read and re-read his composition with great 
care and a quantity of grimaces, and then, 
folding it over and over about sixteen times, 
he locked it away in a scarlet despatch-box. 

" Now, then," he said, taking off his 
spectacles and putting on a pair of eye- 
glasses ; " would you be prepared to start 
for Spain to-night ? " 

This was the first time in my official 
experience that it had ever been suggested 
that I should leave England, but as Mr. 
Vere-Tiverton was now looking out of the 
window, my surprise passed unnoticed. 

" Certainly," I answered after a moment. 
" Only isn't a King's Messenger going off 
to " 

He interrupted me by tapping with his 
keys on the desk. 

" Yes, yes," he said. " But the King's 
Messenger will be known. We must send 
someone who will not be suspected." 

" Oh," I said, feeling rather bewildered. 



" This is the position," continued Mr* 
Vere-Tiverton. " A certain Personage — 
in fact, I think I may safely say a certain 
Personage in a Very High Quarter — wishes 
to convey a gift — an extremely valuable 
gift — to a Scarcely Less Exalted Recipient, 
on the occasion of the Recipient's betrothal. 
The assistance of the Foreign Office has 
been requested, but we have been warned 
that the nature of the intended present 
has become known, and that attempts 
may consequently t>e made to intercept it 
en route. In these circumstances it seems 
to the Under-Secretary and myself that it 
would be better to entrust its transmission 
to someone who, while fully fit to assume 
such a serious responsibility, will be less 
liable to invite attention or suspicion than 
one of our ordinary messengers." 

" Oh," I said again. And if I hadn't been 
in the service for nearly two years, I might 
have added, " Then why not send it by 
registered post ? " But experience had 
taught me that where my department was 
concerned, the longest way round was 
regarded, not sometimes, but invariably, 
as representing the shortest way home. 
So I held my tongue. 

Mr. Vere-Tiverton picked up a paper- 
knife and rattled it against his knuckles. 

" By the way," he said, " I suppose you've 
got a uniform ? " 

" A uniform ? " I repeated, wondering 
what this had got to do with it. " I've 
got my rig-out in the Yeomanry, if that's 
what you mean." 

" That will do," said Mr. Vere-Tiverton. 
" His Serene Highness has always been very 
punctilious on questions of costume, and 
never more so than since his exile." 

" Do you mean that I shall have to wear 
uniform all the time ? " I asked. 

" Not while you're travelling," he 
explained. " But you had better put it on 
as soon as you arrive. And now, if every- 
thing's quite clear, you'd better take this 
chit to the Finance Branch and see about 
getting your ticket." 

I took the slip which he handed me and 
moved towards the door. But half-way 
there an idea struck me. 

" Wouldn't it be as well," I said, coming 
back to the big desk, "if you told me where 
it is that I've got to go, and whom it is 
that I've got to see ? " 

Mr. Vere-Tiverton reflected for a moment 
on this suggestion, and then he rose, looked 
carefully round the room, and, coming 
close up to me, whispered something. 

" I beg your pardon ? " I said, taking out 
my handkerchief and drying my ear. 

" His Serene Highness Prince Stanislas 
of Sauerstadt," he repeated. " Just outside 
San Sebastian," 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Denis Mackail 



197 



"Oh, yes," I said. "Quite." 

" Here are your instructions," he added, 
unlocking the red despatch-box and taking 
out the document which he had been writing 
when I came in. "I think you had better 
memorize them carefully, and then destroy 
them. It wouldn't do for them to be found 
on you." 

" Certainly," I said. " Thank you very 
much." And then, just as I was leaving, 
yet another thought came into my head. 

" By the way," I asked, stopping by the 
doorway, " what is it that I've got to take 
to His Serene Highness ? " 

" Ah," said Mr. Vere-Tiverton. " Yes. 
Of course. Just as well you reminded me." 
He opened a drawer in his writing-desk, 
and took out a little leather case. " This," 
he explained ; and as he spoke he pressed 
the catch and opened the lid. 

Blinking on its white velvet bed, from 
where its myriad facets seemed to shine 
into every corner of the lofty room, I saw 
a large oval blue stone. Right into its clear 
heart I peered, where mysterious fires 
seemed to leap and sparkle, and as I gazed 
at it in admiration and astonishment, Mr. 
Vere-Tiverton closed the lid again with 
a snap. 

" It's an emerald," he said. 

" Don't you mean a sapphire ? " I 
suggested. 

" No," he said, shortly. " It's a blue 
emerald. So far as I am aware, it is the 
only blue emerald — at any rate of anything 
approaching this size — in the whole world. 
Take it," he added, " and understand that 
you are in no circumstances to let it out 
of your sight or keeping for a single instant, 
until you place it in His Serene Highness's 
hands. Your success on this mission is of 
the utmost importance, not only to your 
career and to the Department which you 
serve, but also to — well, to a Very High 
Personage whom it would perhaps be better 
that I should not name." 

I bowed deeply, and put the case in my 
pocket. 

" Bon voyage,*' said Mr. Vere-Tiverton. 
" It is a pity that you don't speak Transyl- 
vanian, but I understand that His Serene 
Highness converses very fluently in French ; 
and in any event all you will have to do is 
to give him the case and come straight back. 
I shall see you next week, then. A rivederci." 

"Auf wieiersehen," I replied, and this time 
I really did leave him. 

I RETURNED to my room and, disre- 
garding my colleagues' request for details 
of my recent interview, set myself to 
mastering my written instructions. 

They seemed simple enough. All I had 
to do was to proceed to Biarritz by the 

O 



ordinary route, which would take me abort 
a day and a half, drive over the frontier 
to His Serene Highness's headquarters at 
the Villa Frangipanni, present my visiting- 
card to the Chamberlain, Count Zybska, 
hand over the jewel in its case to Prince 
Stanislas himself, and come home again. 
I repeated these particulars to myself until 
I was satisfied that I was word perfect, 
and then tore the paper two or three times 
across. 

But my room had no fireplace in which 
I could burn these pieces, and as I didn't 
like to take the risk of throwing them 
where someone else might afterwards pick 
them up, I stuffed them in my pocket, 
meaning to put them on my own fire when 
I went home to pack. And so it was that, 
while crossing the Horse Guards' Parade, 
I pulled out my handkerchief to blow my 
nose, and instantly became aware that 
I was the centre of a kind of miniature blue 
snow-storm. 

" Dash ! " I said, stooping down to gather 
up the scattered fragments of minute paper. 

A bulky but good-natured stranger came 
to my assistance, and between us we had 
soon retrieved all but a negligible quantity. 
I'm not sure that I shouldn't have managed 
it more quickly if I had been by myself, 
for the stranger was severely handicapped 
by his size, but I felt it would only look 
odd if I declined his help. So I thanked him 
warmly, and in a few more minutes I was 
back in my rooms. Once more I emptied 
my pocket of the scraps of paper, threw 
them on to the fire, and watched them twist 
and shrivel into ash. Once more I took out 
the little leather case, opened it, gazed 
wonderingly at the blue emerald, and then, 
just as I was going to put it back again, I 
changed my mind. The jewel itself should 
return to my pocket, but the case, which 
had added appreciably and therefore sus- 
piciously to my contour, should travel 
separately in my dressing-bag. I smiled 
knowingly to myself as I made this decision, 
and, having carried it out, went through 
into my bedroom to begin packing my 
Yeomanry uniform. 

I caught the boat-train at Victoria with 
plenty of time to spare, had a reasonably 
good crossing, with no signs that I was 
attracting any unusu\l kind of attention, 
and as soon as I reached Calais made my 
way to the wagon-lit which was to run 
right through to Biarritz. In accordance 
with Mr. Vere-Tiverton 's directions I had 
booked a whole compartment to myself, 
but in spite of the fact that I had paid for 
and held two tickets, there was a little 
trouble with the conductor before we started. 
The whole coach, it appeared, was full, 
and a monsieur who had seen from the 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



198 



Gibson and the Blue Emerald 



corridor that I was by myself would be 
very grateful if I could let him .share my 
section. He was, of course, prepared to 
pay, and I gathered that he had already 
shown his ability to tip, Eut my instruc- 
tions were definite, I was very sorry, I 
explained, but I had recently been very ill p 
and in the circumstances must insist on 
my right to remain undisturbed. 

The conductor tried persuasion. The 
other monsieur, it seemed, had also been ill. 
Then he tried being rude. Hut I stuck to 
my point, and at last, shrugging his shoulders 
and spitting unpleasantly through the window 
of the corridor, he took himself nil. I bolted 
the door after him and pre- 
pared to undress. 

But first of all, as soon 
as I had opened the folding 
wash-basin which was iixed 
opposite the end of my 
berth, I took the blue 
emerald out of my waist 
coat pocket and laid it 
down where 1 could keep 
my eye on it until such 
time as 1 should be ready 
to transfer it to the pocket 
of my pyjamas, 

I unlocked my dressing- 
bog, took out my sponge and 
tooth-torush, and was per- 
haps half-way through rny 
preparations for bed, when 
my attention was attracted 
by a sound as of someone 
trying the door of my com- 
partment. 

lt Who's there ? " 1 said, 
sharply, And then, as an 
after - thought, I added : 
"Qui esild?" 

There was no answer, 

" What do you want ? ,p I called out. 
'* Qw'est que e'est que vous t'oulez ? *' 

Again there was no answer. The rattling 
had ceased, but even as I decided that my 
question had shown the would-be intruder 
his mistake, I suddenly saw that the bolt 
was moving slowly back. The next second, 
and before I could reach it, the door had 
opened. On the threshold was standing 
the same bulky-looking man who had helped 
me to pick up those pieces of paper on the 
Horse Guards* Parade. 

My mind leapt to the explanation like a 
flash of lightning. He must, while offering 
me his uninvited assistance, have caught 
sight of some scrap of writing which had 
given him a clue to my mission, and from 
that moment, I supposed, he had never 
really let me out of his sight. I saw at once 
that there was no time to snatch up the 
blue emerald and attempt to conceal it, 

Digiliz ..tOOgfe 



To do so would onfy be to indicate its position 
immediately. 

For what felt like many minutes, but must 
in reality have been a matter of seconds 
only, we stood watching each other beneath 
the glare of the electric light. And then, 
with a sudden movement of his hand from 
behind his back, he flung himself at me. 
I raised my left arm to protect myself, 
made an ill -directed grab at the blue 




The erne 1 a Id hadn't even fallen into a crack. It was 



emerald, missed it, barked my knuckles on 
the edge of the basin, and saw it from the 
tail of my eye swinging back into its vertical 
position, and the next instant my wrist 
had gone down before a violent blow, and 
I was struggling power! essly against the 
overwhelming, choking sweetness of a pad 
of chloroform. 



w 



r HHN I regained consciousness (Gibson 
continued, after a short but effective 
pause) T found myself lying across the 
lower berth. My head was throbbing intoler- 
ably, the noise and vibration of the train were 
insupportable, and I felt that at any mo- 
ment I might be devastatingly sick. But the 
thought of the blue emerald gave strength to 
my stricken limbs, I tottered to the window 
and Hung it up. We seemed to be running 
steadily through thick wreaths of early- 
morning mist, and £ls I drew the fresh air 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Denis Mackail 



199 



into my lungs the first feeling of nausea left 
me. I turned back to examine the inside of 
my section. 

Never in my life have I seen such an 
appalling vision of disorder and chaos. The 
contents of my dressing-bag and of the 
pockets of my clothes — -including even my 
bundle of bank-notes — had been flung broad- 
cast all over the little compartment. The 
carpet had been dragged from the floor, 




perched temptingly on th* very middle cf a sleeper 



the blankets from the berths, and a series of 
gashes had been made in the two mattresses. 
Even the green shade had been torn from 
the light in the ceiling. 

I set painfully to work to repair some of 
this confusion before summoning such doubt- 
fully sympathetic assistance as might be 
rendered by the conductor, and, as 1 did so, 
a sudden thought struck me + 

If my assailant had indeed been in search 
of the blue emerald, as his contempt for 
my money would suggest, why should he 
have caused all this destruction, when all 
the time it was lying ready to his hand by 
the side of the wash-basin ? Could this, by 
any miraculous chance, mean that he had 
overlooked it ? I crossed again to the little 
folding cabinet and pulled it open. The 
next second a terrifying memory had flashed 
into my mind. I saw a vision of that last 
protective movement before unconsciousness 

Digitized by LiOO)3 IC 



had overcome me, and T realized that in 
missing my real object and knocking up the 
basin I must have sent the blue emerald 
slithering down the waste-pipe, and that it 
was now lying on the permanent way at 
some unknown point on the two or three 
hundred miles which separated me from 
( alais, 

I sank back on my berth with a groan. 
What was the use of having accidentally 
saved my precious charge from that obese 
ruffian, if my only clue to its present where- 
abouts was represented by an indeterminate 
length of railroad track 
situated in some unknown 
portion of Picard y ? I f on ly 
f had even the faintest idea 
of the time at which the 
attack had taken place, 
it might have been some 
help ; but although I knew 
when the train had been 
due to leave Calais, I had 
taken no steps to check 
its punctuality. I couldn't 
even recall having looked 
at a clock since I had 
left Victoria. 

Automatically I raised 
my aching arm to glance 
at my wrist-watch, and 
the next instant my heart 
seemed to stop beating, 
as a wild, desperate hone 
darted into my mind. The 
glass had been shivered 
to atoms by the force of 
that sudden blow ; even 
the case was dented and 
flattened against my 
bruised flesh ; but the 
little hands, arrested in 
their eternal progress, stilt 
pointed faithfully to seven minutes past 
one, Resolutely 1 disregarded the possi- 
bility of failure, while even such a faint 
chance of success yet remained. 1 bolted 
the door again, brushed my hair, resumed 
my discarded clothes, packed my bag, and 
sat down to await the train's next stop + I had 
a bad moment when I found that the little 
leather jew r cbcase was no longer anywhere 
to be seen, but even on this ominous sign 
1 would turn a blind eye as long as it could 
possibly be done. 

And so, about a quarter of an hour later, 
you must imagine the long train pulling 
slowly into a sleepy -looking station. The 
very second that it stopped I dropped my 
bag through the window, and in another 
moment 1 had dodged past the conductor and, 
seizing the bag from where it had fallen, 
was tearing up towards the front of the 
train. Original from 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



200 



Gibson and the Blue Emerald 



Raising my hat politely, and kt the same 
time ostentatiously lingering a twenty-franc 
note, I addressed the engine-driver in my 
best French. 

" Pardon me, monsieur," I said, " but 
would you have the goodness to inform 
me as precisely as is possible where this 
train was at seven minutes past one this 
morning ? " 

" Hein ? " said the engine-driver, spitting 
unsympathetically on the floor of his cab. 

I repeated my question. 

" Cinquante francs" said the engine-driver 
this time. 

There was no time for argument, and 
besides, the taxpayer would have to foot 
the bill. I handed him up his fifty francs. 

" C'est r,a," said the engine-driver. " Et 
le train etait sur la vote/' And he laughed 
heartily at his own wit. 

" You dashed idiot," 1 thought. " I hope 
you get your head knocked off in the next 
tunnel." But aloud I said : " Your pleasantry 
is very amusing. But am I to report you to 
my brother-in-law the general manager ? " 

" By no means," said the engine-driver. 
" But for myself. T have only directed this 
machine since Amiens." And with these 
words he pulled a handle somewhere in 
his cab, so that all further conversation was 
made impossible by an agonizing noise of 
escaping steam. 

I REMAINED hidden until the train had 
left, and then set about discovering the 

quickest means of returning to Amiens. 
By three o'clock in the afternoon I had found 
my way to the office of the chef Je garc at 
that station. 

" Pardon me, monsieur," I said, " but 
I had the misfortune to drop from one of 
your excellent carriages on the Biarritz 
express last night a photograph of my late 
wife, which is of inexpressible value to me 
for reasons of sentiment the most pure. 
Might I beg you to inform me at what 
point on your superb line the express found 
itself at seven minutes past one, the hour 
of my loss so sad ? " 

" Monsieur should address himself to 
the bureau of lost propriety at Paris," 
replied the station-master. 

" Without doubt," I said. " Nevertheless 
I would desire particularly to assure myself 
of the exact neighbourhood of my misfortune, 
in order that I may light a candle, or 
possibly several candles, in the neatest 
church, and thereby receive the assistance 
of the blessed saints in my search." 

" For myself," replied the station-master, 
coldly, " I am an atheist." 

" A freemason perhaps ? " I suggested. 

" And what of it ? " he inquired. 

" Simply this," I said. " I am myself a Past 



Grand Master of the Ancient and Honourable 
Jupiter Lodge, number seven hundred and 
fifty-six, of Great Britain," And seizing 
his hand as I spoke, I dug my finger-nails 
forcibly into the fleshy part of the palm. 

" It is enough," said the station-master, 
wincing. " At seven minutes past one this 
morning the express for Biarritz was between 
Rue and Noyelles. I have the time-sheet 
here in my bureau." 

" A thousand thanks," I replied. " Mon- 
sieur is of an amiability prodigious." And 
giving his hand a final grip, I hurried from 
his office. 

At half-past four I had reached Noyelles 
in yet another train, and, leaving my bag 
in the cloak-room, I set out quickly along 
the road to the north. In a few minutes 
I had left the houses behind me, and at 
once I clambered over the nearest fence, 
hurried across a couple of fields, and so 
reached the permanent way. 

Keeping my ears wide open for the sound 
of any approaching train — for the workings 
of French railway signals have always been 
an insoluble mystery to me — I began slowly 
making my way between the rails of the 
up-line in the direction of the coast. The 
sun beat down pitilessly on the metals, 
but never for a second did I interrupt my 
crouching progress from sleeper to sleeper. 
Every inch of the ground was closely exam- 
ined, and if I had time I could tell you of 
many unexpecte * things that I found, 
but though my hopes were raised again 
and again by a piece of broken bottle gleam- 
ing in the sunlight, of the blue emerald 
there was still no trace. At the end of an 
hour I straightened my back and refreshed 
myself with a cigarette, and then, just as 
I was preparing to start again, I suddenly 
saw, lying in the middle of the six-foot way, 
an object that made my heart leap into 
my mouth. For though its lining had been 
wrenched out and its hinges broken, there 
could be no mistaking that little leather 
jewel -case. 

In the excitement of this discovery I was 
as nearly as possible run over by a goods 
train on the down line. But in another 
minute its last wagon had rattled out of 
sight round a curve, and, placing the damaged 
case in my pocket, I resumed my weary 
walk. 

My hopes were now running high. It 
seemed clear that the thief, enraged by 
the discovery of the empty casket, had 
first wreaked his vengeance on the thing 
itself, and then flung it through the window. 
Surely, then, unless I had been forestalled, 
sor 1 "where between this point and the 
station at Rue I should come on the blu" 
emerald itself, lying lodged in a crevice 
of the road-bed. Y OF MICHIGAN 



Denis Mackail 



20I 



And the astonishing tiring is that I did. 
As a matter of fact it hadn't even fallen 
into a crack. It was perched temptingly 
on the very middle of a sleeper, and I first 
saw it winking at me when I was quite 
fifty yards away. The very next plate- 
layer to come that way must inevitably 
have gone off with it, for it was simply 
asking to be taken. My luck seemed incred- 
ible ; for a moment I thought I should 
actually faint with excitement before I 
could reach it. 

But I didn't ; and by eight o'clock I 
had resumed possession of my bag ; by 
ten o'clock I was back at Amiens ; and 
by two o'clock I was sitting up in a crowded 
second-class compartment, jolting towards 
Paris. So far as my present trip was con- 
cerned, 1 had finished with such dangerous 
luxuries as sleeping-cars. 

I won't describe the next stage in my 
exhausting journey. But at last, about 
noon the following day, after travelling 
almost unceasingly for over sixty-five hours, 
I found my seventh train steaming into 
Biarritz. I waited until everyone else had 
left the compartment, even until the plat- 
form had begun to empty, and then, hot, 
stiff, and dirty, I climbed down the steps, 
and went in search of my registered luggage, 
which had preceded me by twenty-four 
hours. 

And here, as 1 approached the douane, 
my luck turned again, and I found that 
a second misfortune had befallen me. 
Why I hadn't discovered it before, I don't 
know. But I was certain enough now. 
My bundle of bank-notes, my visiting- 
cards, and my t>ooklet of travelling-coupons 
were all there, safe enough ; but of the 
baggage-check for the box which contained 
my uniform there was no shadow or sign. 
Could 1 have overlooked it when I was 

gathering up my other property, or had 

1 rushed to the custodian of the douane, 
and raised my hat. 

" Pardon me, monsieur," I said, " but 
1 have had the misfortune to lose the ticket 
for a box of mine which arrived last night 
on the train de luxe from Calais. Might 
1 beg to be informed where one should 
address oneself in such circumstances ? " 

The douanier spat skilfully over his 
counter. 

" A box ? " he repeated. " What des- 
cription of box ? " 

" A brown box," I explained. " With 
many labels on it. Al$o on each end it 
was nvarked with my* initials, ' H. G. ' " 

" And of what size ? " asked the douanier. 

" Like this and like that," I said, demon- 
strating with my hands. 

The douanier seemed to be weighing his 
answer carefully, and again I took a bank- 



note from my pocket and twisted it 
negligently between my fingers. 

" Ca c'est pour moi," said the douanier, 
leaning over and seizing it. " As for the 
box, monsieur should perhaps address him- 
self to the police. A box of such a nature 
was claimed by a gross gentleman, it is 
now yesterday." 

" You mean he gave up the ticket for it ? " 
I asked. 

" Naturally," said the official, and at 
this he cleared his throat so terrifyingly 
that I shut my eyes. When I looked again 
he had gone. 

THE explanation was obvious, even if 
unsatisfactory. Foiled in his attempt 
to discover the emerald in my com- 
partment or on my person, my assailant must 
have leapt to the conclusion that I had con- 
cealed it in my registered luggage. Barring 
the uniform, which would be expensive to 
replace and was, moreover, essential to my 
mission, the whole loss could well have been 
covered by ten pounds. And even this my 
department would in all probability be quite 
content to pay. But was I to risk inter- 
national complications by appearing at the 
distinguished exile's Court in a much-soiled 
travelling-suit, or ought I to telegraph 
to London for another uniform and so 
remain in uneasy possession of the blue 
emerald for a further indefinite period ? 

In the end, after much uncomfortable 
cogitation, I decided to proceed to the 
Villa Frangipanni and lay the case, in 
confidence, before Count Zybska. And 
accordingly, after a bath and a shave at 
the Carlton, I chartered an automobile 
in which to complete the last stage of my 
journey. You may be sure that I scrutinized 
the chauffeur pretty closely before I started, 
and that I kept a keen look-out on the road 
as we bowled along. But nowhere on the 
ten-mile ride did I detect any indication 
that I was being watched or followed. I 
bad a nervous moment, it is true, at the 
frontier, but I was only detained for a couple 
of minutes, asked a few perfunctory ques- 
tions, and immediately released. 

And so at last, about a quarter to three, 
my car drew up at the outer gate of His 
Serene Highness's temporary Court. I 
handed my card to the porter on duty, 
and explained my desire for an interview 
with Count Zybska. The porter seemed 
to be expecting me. 

" The automobile," he said, " must rest 
here. But if the senor will proceed to the 
Villa by the path which I shall show him, 
and present his card to the doorkeeper, 
he will then be conducted to His Excellency's 
apartments." 

"Ten million thanks," I replied. The 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



202 



Gibson and the Blue Emerald 



porter scrawled some illegible symbol on 
the back of my card, returned it to mc, 
pointed out the route with a wealth of 
southern gesture, saluted, and withdrew 
again into his lodge. I started at once up 
the steep and winding path. 

I MUST have walked for quite ten minutes 
through a forest of palms and cactuses, 
sweltering in the heat and beating the 
flics off with my handkerchief, before I 
first caught sight of the white walls of the 
house itself. And as I had no wish to increase 
the embarrassment of my visit by arriving 
in too sodden and exhausted a condition, 
I paused for a moment to recover my breath 
and to dust my boots on the grass at the 
side of the path. For the thousandth time 
since I had started I made use of the oppor- 
tunity to feel the little lump in my waist- 
coat pocket ; and then, to make assurance 
doubly sure, I glanced quickly round and, 
inserting my finger and thumb, extracted 
the blue emerald for a final inspection. 

Yes, there it was ; as dazzling, as fairy-like, 
and — to me — as odious as ever. I gave it 
one more polish against the sleeve of my 
coat, and then, just as I was on the point of 
putting it back, it seemed suddenly to leap 
from my hand and, before I could catch it 
again, it had gone. 

I bent down at once to recover it from the 
grass at my feet, but while my hand was still 
less than half-way there I heard a hoarse 
command from the direction of the nearest 
bush, a scurrying sound behind me, and 
instantly my two elbows were seized in a 
vice-like grip, while something that felt like 
a knee was thrust forcibly into my back. 
And at the same moment there stepped out 
from the protection of an araucaria imbricata 
an unwelcome but familiar figure. For 
although he had now chosen to decorate his 
bulbous countenance with a small crepe 
mask, there could be no mistaking my old 
friend of the Horse Guards' Parade. 

He wasted no time in words, for I was 
completely at his mercy. His pudgy fingers 
darted at my pockets, turning out the con- 
tents with a machine-like rapidity. I heard 
a startled gasp as he came on the damaged 
jewel-case, but the next second he had flung 
it away and was hard at work again. He 
snatched at my hat, ran his hands rapidly 
over it, and tossed it aside ; he seized my 
nose so that I yelped with pain, and took the 
opportunity to gaze into my mouth. And 
at each failure his methods became rougher 
and more objectionable. For days after- 
wards I was black and blue all over. 

And yet. for all the annoyance and even 
agony of the mauling to which I was being 
subjected, I was hard put to it to conceal my 
triumph. Five seconds earlier and nothing 



could have saved the emerald from being 
his. I kept my eyes resolutely from the 
ground, determined to make no sign which 
could give him the slightest clue to my 
knowledge of its whereabouts. 

It was the brute behind me who put the 
idea into his head. I heard him muttering 
something in an unknown tongue, and at 
once my bulky enemy had hurled himself 
on all-fours and was tearing over the ground 
like an ill-conditioned retriever. But, 
miraculously as it seemed to me, the blue 
emerald still eluded him. Again and again 
he passed over the exact spot where I was 
certain that it had fallen, plucking feverishly 
at every inch of the ground, but with 
absolutely no result. I could scarcely believe 
my eyes. 

Suddenly he stopped short and, sitting 
back on his feet, pulled out a long-barrelled 
revolver, tastefully mounted in mother-of- 
pearl. 

" The emerald," he panted, directing his 
weapon at my stomach. " Where is she ? " 

I looked at him stupidly. 

" What emerald ? " I asked. 

4 * Assassin ! " he shouted, taking deliberate 
aim at me ; and at the same moment the 
desperate chance on which I had counted 
came off. The villain behind me had no 
desire to be spitted on the same bullet which 
deprived me of my life, and he did exactly 
what I should have done myself. He let go. 

At once I slipped hastily to one side, 
leapt into the air, and fell heavily on the 
kneeling gunman. The pistol jerked out of 
his hand, and as my thumbs sank deep into 
the rolls of his throat I really thought I had 
got him. But the odds were too heavily 
against me. As he choked and gurgled 
beneath my grip, I saw from the corner of 
my eye my other assailant creeping nearer 
and nearer. With a quick movement he had 
seized the mother-of-pearl pistol, and as he 
brought the butt -end down on the back of 
my skull I relapsed, for the second time in 
the last thirty-six hours, into utter uncon- 
sciousness. 

I DON'T think (Gibson went on) that I can 
have been knocked out this time for very 
long, but when I came round again there 
was no sign of either of the thieves. My 
head was aching fit to burst, but I set to at 
once to begin hunting for the blue emerald. 
My own explanation of the fat blackguard's 
failure was that I must have been standing 
on it the whole time, but after twenty 
minutes of rapidly-increasing anxiety the 
appalling fact had to be faced : the emerald 
simply wasn't there. After all the horrors 
that I had been through, after travelling 
unceasingly for nearly three days, after being 
chloroformed, sandbagged, and reft of my 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Denis Mackail 



203 




I sank against a cactus, and as I did 50 a gorgeously-attired flunkey made his 

unexpected appearance. 



luggage, I had reached the very threshold of 
success only to lose that infernal stone within 
half a mile of the Prince's villa. Of course 
the two thieves must have seen it the second 
they had laid me out. They would have 
bolted at once, have left the grounds by 
climbing one of the walls, and already they 
were over the frontier or on the sea. I sank 
against a cactus, groaning aloud, and as 1 
did so a gorgeously-attired flunkey made his 
unexpected appearance. 

E< It is the visitor for Count Zybska ? " 
he inquired in Spanish, 
' Yes/' I said, feebly. 

" His Excellency is waiting/* said the 
flunkey, (< But perhaps the senor is 
unwell ? " 

M No/' I said, rudely, " I've only been 
making a daisy-cbasn. Take me to His 
Excellency at once/" 

a iOogle 



He bowed impassively, and struggling 
to my feet I followed him across the rest 
of the grounds and through a French 
window into a large and handsomely- 
appointed room. The Count rose from a 
desk at which he was writing, and wrung 
my hand warmly. 

Your Excellency/ 1 I said, " you must 
pardon my abruptness, but there is no time 
to be lost I have just been assaulted within 
five hundred yards of this very house, and 
though I did all that I could to protect it, 
the blue emerald has gone. Two men, one 
extremely stout and the other smelling 
strongly of garlic, have esc a red with it. 
Apologies and explanations must wait, but 
let me beg of you to telephone instantly to 
the mayor, or whoever controls the local 
poltce, so that an attempt may be made to 
arrest them before it is too late/' 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



204 



Gibson and the Blue Emerald 



'• Yais," replied Count Zybska, smiling at 
me amiably. " It ees vairy fine days." 

I saw at once that he had failed to appre- 
hend my meaning, so I repeated myself in 
French. 

" Bayjaxtmert" said the Count, when I 
had quite finished ; and pointing towards a 
door in the corner, he went through an 
imbecile pantomime of washing his hands. 

" No, no,' I shouted. " Listen to this." 
And I was just starting off again, this time 
in German, when the portidre at the end of 
the room rattled on its rings, and there 
entered a short stocky figure in a green 
knickerbocker suit with a bald head and, 
as far as 1 could judge at a hasty glance, an 
impediment in one of his eyes. 

" Zut ! " said Count Zybska, with an 
appearance of some alarm. " It ees 'Is 
Serene 'Ighness." And turning to the new 
arrival, he embarked at once on what I took 
to be an explanation of my presence. 

Prince Stanislas listened stonily, occa- 
sionally looking towards me with his less 
mperfect eye, and when the Count at length 
ceased, he said, in French : — 

* It is enough. But where, then, Mr. 
Gibson, is your uniform ? Do you think to 
insult us ? '* 

" No, no, your Highness," I exclaimed. 
" Never would I have appeared in your 
presence without my uniform. But in the 
course of my voyage, alas, one has stolen it 
from me." 

" Stolen I " repeated the Prince. *' And 
the emerald, then. Is that also stolen ? " 

4 Your Highness," I said, quaveringly, 
' I will tell you everything." And 1 did. 
* In the faint hope of mitigating his severity 
by explaining all that I had suffered for his 
sake, I began at the beginning. If I exagger- 
ated a little here and there, then I think it 
was no more than anyone else would have 
done. And, to tell the truth, the more I 
piled it on, the better the story seemed to be 
going. I described how twelve armed men 
had burst into my sleeping-compartment in 



the train, and took all the credit for the 
ingenious idea of dropping the jewel down 
the waste-pipe and simultaneously breaking 
my own watch. 

:t C est magnifijue," said the Prince, slap 
ping his knickerbockers. 

ENCCURAGED by th s success, I went 
on to describe how twenty-four armed 
men had flung themselves on to me at 
Biarritz station, and how, though I had 
wounded most of them, they had succeeded 
in seizing my baggage. I told ol the 
running fight over the frontier, in which 
I had been chased by forty-eight armed 
men in motor-cars. And I was just reach- 
ing the point where ninety-six men, all 
armed to the teeth, had ambushed me in 
the very grounds of the villa, when His 
Highness stopped me. 

" It is terrible," he said. " It is superb. 
And you escaped them all ? " 

I had gone too far to go back. 

" All," I replied. 

" Monsieur," aid His Serene Highness, 
"you are a hero from a land ot heroes. 
With ten men such as you, do you think we 
should be content to remain exiled in this 
desolate and abominable hovel ? Never. 
But we can and we will reward you. The 
Order of the Golden Cow (Fourth Class) shall 
be yours. Kneel, Monsieur Gibson, and 
receive it from the hands of a Prince who, 
whatever his misfortunes, can still recognize 
devotion when he sees it." 

The whole situation seemed to have passed 
out of my control. I prostrated myself with 
a jerk on the polished parquet, His Serene 
Highness raised his walking-stick to adminis- 
ter the royal accolade, and — there was a little 
tinkle on the floor, as from the turned -up 
end of my despised, civilian trouser-leg the 
blue emerald rolled out between my knees. 

" Your Highness," I said, brokenly, as I 
snatched it up and held it out to him, •' this 
is the most fortunate moment in my whole 
life ! " 



(Another of Gibson's adventures will appear in an early number.) 




by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



2C5 




MISS BRACEGIRDLE 
DOES HER DUTY 



I* 

19 




T 



•HIS is the room, 
madame." 

" Ah, thank 
you — thank 
vou/' 

' ' Does it appear satis- 
factory to madame ? " 

" Oh, yes. Thank 
yon — quite/* 

*' Does madame 
require anything 
further ? H 

" Er — if not too late, may I have a hot 
bath ? J * 

" Patfaitement, madame. The bathroom 
is at the end of the passage on the left, I 
will go and prepare it for madame/ 1 

" There is one thing more, I have had a 
very long journey. I am very tired. Will 
yoa please see that I am not disturbed in 
the morning until 1 ring ? " 

** Certainly, madame/' 

Millieent Brace girdle was speaking the 
truth— she was tired. But then, in the sleepy 
cathedral town of Easingstoke, from which 
she came, it was customary for everyone 
to speak the truth. It was customary, 
moreover, for everyone to lead simple, 
self-denying lives— to give up their time 
to good works and elevating thoughts. One 
had only to glance at little Miss Brao< girdle 
to see that in her were epitomized all the 
virtues and ideals of Easingstoke. Indeed, 
it was the pursuit of duty which had brought 
htr to the H6tel de I'Ouest at Bordeaux 
on this summer's night. She had travelled 
from Easingstoke to London, then without 
a break to Dover, crossed that horrid stretch 
of sea to Calais, entrained for Paris, where 
of necessity she had to spend four hours 
— a terrifying experience — and then had 
come on to Bordeaux, arriving at mid- 
night. Tfie reason of this journey being that 
someone had to come to Bordeaux to meet 
her young sister-in-law, who was arriving 



STACY 
AUMONIER 



fZ,£,USTRAT&n AY 
S.SEYMOUR LUCAS 



tie next day from 
South America. The 
sister-in-law was 
married to a mission- 
ary in Paraguay, but 
the climate not agree- 
ing with her t she was 
returning to England. 
Her dear brother, the 
dean, would have come 
himself, but the claims 
on his time were :;o 
extensive, the parishioneis would miss him 
so — it was clearly Millicent's duty to go. 

She had never been out of England before, 
and she had a horror of travel, ai d an 
ingrained distrust of foreigners. She spoke 
a little French, sufficient for U e purpose 
of travel and for obtaining any modest 
necessities, but not sufficient for carrying 
on any kind of conversation. She did not 
deplore this latter fact, for she was of opinion 
that French people were not the kind ef 
people that one would naturally want to 
have conversation with ; broadly speaking, 
they were not quite "'nice/' in spite of 
their ingratiating manners. 

She unpacked her valise, placed her things 
about the room, tried to thrust back the 
little stabs of home-sickness as she visualized 
her darling room at the deanery. How 
strange and hard and unfriendly seemed 
these foreign hotel bedrooms I No chintz, 
and lavender and photographs of all 
the dear family, the dean, the nephews 
and nieces, the interior of the Cathe- 
dral during harvest festival ; no samplers 
and needlework or coloured reproduc- 
tions of the paintings by Marcus Stone, 
Oh, dear, how foolish she was ! What did 
she expect ? 

She disrobed, and donned a dressing- 
gown ; then, armed with a sponge-hag 
and towel, she crept timidly down the 
passage to thy baihroom, after closing her 



Copyrighl, i*» by Suzy A^^lPSWl' OF MICHIGAN 



206 



Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty 



bedroom door and turning out the light. 
The gay bathroom cheered her. She wal- 
lowed luxuriously in the hot water, regarding 
her slim legs with quiet satisfaction. And 
for the first time since leaving home there 
came to her a pleasant moment, a sense 
of enjoyment in her adventure. After all, 
it was rather an adventure, and her life 
had been peculiarly devoid of it. What 
queer lives some people must live, travelling 
about, having experiences ! How old was 
she ? Not really old — not by any means. 
Forty-two ? Forty-three ? She had shut 
herself up so. She hardly ever regarded the 
potentialities of age. As the world went, 
she was a well-preserved woman for her 
age. A life of self-abnegation, simple living, 
healthy walking, and fresh air had kept 
her younger than these hurrying, pam- 
pered, city people. 

Love ? Yes, once when she was a young 
girl — he was a schoolmaster, a most estim- 
able, kind gentleman. They were never 
engaged — not actually, but it was a kind 
of understood thing. For three years it 
went on, this pleasant understanding and 
friendship. He was so gentle, so dis- 
tinguished and considerate. She would 
have been happy to have continued in this 
strain for ever. But there was something 
lacking — Stephen had curious restless lapses. 
From the physical aspect of marriage she 
shrank — yes. even with Stephen, who was 
gentleness and kindness itself. And then, 
one day — one day he went away, vanished, 
and never returned. They told her he 
had married one of the country girls, a giri 
who used to work in Mrs. Forbes 's dairy 
— not a very nice girl, she feared, one of 
those fast, pretty, foolish women. Heigho ! 
Well, she had lived that down, destructive 
as the blow appeared at the time. One lives 
everything down in time. There is always 
work, living for others, faith, duty. At 
the same time she could sympathize with 
people who found satisfaction in unusual 
experiences. There would be lots to tell the 
dear dean when she wrote to him on the 
morrow : nearly losing her spectacles on 
the restaurant-car, the amusing remarks 
of an American child on the train to Paris, 

• the curious food everywhere, nothing simple 
and plain ; the two English ladies at the 
hotel in Paris who told her about the death 
of their uncle — the poor man being taken 
ill on Friday and dying on Sunday afternoon, 
just before tea-time ; the kindness of the 
hotel proprietor, who had sat up for her ; the 
prettiness of the chambermaid. Oh, yes, 

everyone was really very kind. The French 
people, after all, were very nice. She had 

seen nothing — nothing but what was quite 

rice and decorous. There would be lots 

to tell the dean to-morrow. 



HER body glowed with the friction of 
the towel. She again donned her night 
attire and her thick woollen dressing- 
gown. She tidied up the bathroom carefully 
in exactly the same way she was accustoir.ed 
to do at home ; then once more gripped 
her sponge-bag and towel, and turning out 
the light she crept down the passage to her 
room. Entering the room, she switched on 
the light and shut the door quickly. Then 
one of those ridiculous things happened, 
just the kind of thing you would expect 
to happen in a foreign hotel. The handle 
of the door came off in her hand. She ejacu- 
lated a quiet " Bother ! " and sought to 
replace it with one hand, the other being 
occupied with the towel and sponge-Lag. 
In doing this she behaved foolishly, for, 
thrusting the knob carelessly against the 
steel pin without properly securing it, 
she only succeeded in pushing the pin 
farther into the door, and the knob was 
not adjusted. She uttered another little 
" Bother ! " and put her sponge-bag and 
towel down on the floor. She then tried to 
recover the pin with her left hand, but it 
had gone in too far. 

" How very foolish ! " she thought. " 1 
shall have to ring for the chambermaid — 
and perhaps the poor girl has gone to bed." 
She turned and faced the room, and 
suddenly the aw f ful horror was upon her. 
There was a man asleep in her bed ! 
The sight of that swarthy face on the pillow, 
with its black tousled hair and heavy mous- 
tache, produced in her the most terrible 
moment of her life. Her heart nearly stopped. 
For some seconds she could neither think 
nor scream, and her first thought was : — 
" I mustn't scream ! " 
She stood there like one paralysed, 
staring at the man's head and the great 
curved hunch of his body under the clothes. 
When she began to think she thought very 
quickly and all her thoughts worked together. 
The first vivid realization was that it wrsn't 
the man's fault ; it was her fault. She was 
in the wrong room. It was the man's room. 
The rooms were identical, but there were 
all his things about, his clothes thrown 
carelessly over chairs, his collar and tie on 
the wardrobe, his great heavy boots and the 
strange yellow trunk. She must get cut — 
somehow, anyhow. She clutched once nore 
at the door, feverishly driving her finger- 
nails into the hole where the elusive pin 
had vanished. She tried to force her fingers 
in the crack and open the door that way, 
but it was of no avail. She was to all intents 
and purposes locked in — locked in a bedroom 
in a strange hotel, alone with a man — a 
foreigner — a Frenchman ! 

She must think — she must think ! She 
switched off the Sight. If the light was off 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Stacy Aumonier 



207 




She turned, and suddenly the awful horror was upon her, TTiere wm a man asleep 

"* r%r\t in her bed t 

^^ UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



208 



Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty 



he might not wake up. It might give her 
time to think how to act. It was surprising 
that he had not awakened. If he did wake 
up, what would he do ? How could she 
explain herself? He wouldn't believe 4 her. 
No one would believe her. In an English 
hotel it would be difficult enough, but here, 
where she wasn't known, where they were 
all foreigners and consequently antagonistic 
— merciful heavens ! 

She must get out. Should she wake the 
man ? No, she couldn't do that. He might 
murder her. He might— oh, it was too 
awful to contemplate ! Should she scream ? 
Ring for the chambermaid ? But no \ it 
would be the same thing. People would 
come rushing. They would find her there 
in the strange man's bedroom after mid- 
night — she, Millicent Bracegirdle, sister of 
the Dean of Easingstoke ! Easingstoke ! 
Visions of Easingstoke flashed through 
her alarmed mirid. Visions of the news 
arriving, women whispering around tea- 
tables : " Have you heard, my dear ? 
Really, no one would have imagined ! Her 
poor brother ! He will, of course, have to 
resign, you know, my dear. Have a little 
more cream, my love." 

Would they put her in prison ? She might 
be in the room for the purpose of stealing 
or she might be in the room for the pur- 
pose of breaking every one of the ten com- 
mandments. There was no explaining it 
away. She was a ruined woman, suddenly 
and irretrievably, unless she could open the 
door. The chimney ? Should she climb 
up the chimney ? But where would that lead 
to ? And then she thought of the man 
pulling her down by the legs when she was 
already smothered in soot. Any moment 
he might wake up. She thought she heard 
the chambermaid going along the passage. 
If she had wanted to scream, she ought to 
have screamed before. The maid would 
know she had left the bathroom some 
minutes ago. Was she going to her room ? 

AN abrupt and desperate plan formed 
J-\^ in her mind. It was already getting on 
for one o'clock. The man was probably 
a quite harmless commercial traveller or busi- 
ness man. He would probably get up about 
seven or eight o'clock, dress quickly, and go 
out. She would hide under his bed until 
he went. Only a matter of a few hours. 
Men don't look under their beds, although 
she made a religious practice of doing so 
herself. When he went he would be sure 
to open the door all right. The handle 
would be lying on the floor as though it 
had dropped off in the night. He would 
probably ring for the chambermaid, or 
open it with a penknife. Men are so clever 
at thoes things. When he had gone she would 

5 



creep out and steal back to her room, and 
then there would be no necessity to give 
any explanation to anyone. But heavers ! 
what an experience ! Once under the white 
frill of that bed, she would be safe till the 
morning. In daylight nothing seemed so 
terrifying. With feline precaution she went 
down on her hands and knees and crept 
towards the bed. What a lucky thing theie 
was that broad white frill ! She lifted it 
at the foot of the bed and crept under. 
There was just sufficient depth to take 
her slim body. The floor was fortunately 
carpeted all over, but it seemed very close 
and dusty. Suppose she coughed or sneezed ! 
Anything might happen. Of course, it 
would be much more difficult to explain 
her presence under the bed than to explain 
her presence just inside the door. She held 
her breath in suspense. No sound came from 
above, but under the frill it was difficult 
to hear anything. It was almost more 
nerve-racking than hearing everything — 
listening for signs and portents. This tem- 
porary escape, in any case, would give her 
time to regard the predicament detachedly. 
Up to the present she had not been able to 
focus the full significance of her action. 
She had, in truth, lost her head. She had been 
like a wild animal, consumed with the sole 
idea of escape — a mouse or a cat would 
do this kind of thing — take cover and lie 
low. If only it hadn't all happened abroad I 

She tried to frame sentences of explana- 
tion in French, but French escaped her. 
And then they talked so rapidly, these 
people. They didn't listen. The situation 
was intolerable. Would she be able to 
endure a night of it ? At present she was 
not altogether uncomfortable, only stuffy and 
— very, very frightened. But she had to 
face six or seven or eight hours of it, and 
perhaps even then discovery in the end ! 
The minutes flashed by as she turned the 
matter over and over in her head. There 
was no solution. She began to wish she 
had screamed or awakened the man. She 
saw now that that would have been the 
wisest and most politic thing to do ; but 
she had allowed ten minutes or a quarter 
of an hour to elapse from the moment when 
the chambermaid would know that she had 
left the bathroom. They would want an 
explanation of what she had been doing in 
the man's bedroom all that time. Why 
hadn't she screamed before ? 

She lifted the frill an inch or two and 
listened. She thought she heard the man 
breathing, but she couldn't be sure. In 
any case, it gave her more air. She became 
a little bolder, and thrust her face partly 
through the frill so that she could breathe 
freely. She tried to steady her nerves by 
concentrating on the fact that — well, there 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Stacy Aumonier 



209 



it was. She had done it. She must make 
the best of it. Perhaps it would be all right, 
after all. 

" Of course, I sha'n't sleep/' she kept on 
thinking. M I sha'n't be able to. In any 
case, it will be safer not to sleep. I must 
be on the watch." 

SHE set her teeth and waited grimly. Now 
that she had made up her mind to see the 
thing through in this manner she felt 
a little calmer. She almost smiled as she 
reflected that there would certainly be some- 
thing to tell the dear dean when she wrote 
to him to-morrow. How would he take it ? 
Of course he would believe it — he had never 
doubted a single word that she had uttered 
in her life — but the story would sound so 
preposterous. In Easingstoke it would be 
almost impossible to imagine such an experi- 
ence. She, Millicent Bracegirdle, spending a 
night under a strange man's bed in a foreign 
hotel ! What would those women think ? 
Fanny Shields and that garrulous old Mrs. 
Rusbridger ? Perhaps — yes, perhaps it would 
be advisable to tell the dear dean to let the 
story go no farther. One could hardly 
expect Mrs. Rusbridger to not make implica- 
tions — exaggerate. Oh, dear I what were 
they all doing now ? They would all be 
asleep, everyone in Easingstoke. Her dear 
brother always retired at 10.15. He would 
be sleeping calmly and placidly, the sleep of 
the just — breathing the clear sweet air of 
Sussex, not this — oh, it was stuffy ! She 
felt a great desire to cough. She mustn't do 
that. 

Yes, at 9.30 all the servants were sum- 
moned to the library. There was a short 
service — never more than fifteen minutes ; 
her brother didn't believe in a great deal of 
ritual — then at ten o'clock cocoa for every- 
one. At 10.15 bed for everyone. The dear, 
sweet bedroom, with the narrow white bed, 
by the side of which she had knelt every 
night so long as she could remember— even 
in her dear mother's day — and said her 
prayers. 

Prayers ! Yes, that was a curious thing. 
This was the first night iri her life experience 
when she had not said her prayers on 
retiring. The situation was certainly very 
peculiar — exceptional, one might call it, 
God would understand and forgive such a 
lapse. And yet, after all, why — what was to 
prevent her saying her prayers ? Of course, 
the couldn't kneel in the proper devotional 
attitude, that would be a physical impossi- 
bility ; nevertheless, perhaps her prayers 
might be just as efficacious — if they came 
from the heart. 

So little Miss Bracegirdle curved her body 
and placed her hands in a devout attitude 
in front of her face, and quite inaudibly 

Vol Uiv.-14. 



murmured her prayers under the strange 
man's bed. 

At the end she added, fervently : — 

" Please God protect me from the dangers 
and perils of this night." 

Then she lay silent and inert, strangely 
soothed by the effort of praying. 

It began to get very uncomfortable, stuffy, 
but at the same time draughty, and the 
floor was getting harder every minute. She 
changed her positicm stealthily and con- 
trolled her desire to cough. Her heart was 
beating rapidly. Over and over again re- 
curred the vivid impression of every little 
incident and argument that had occurred 
to her from the moment she left the bath- 
room. This must, of course, be the room 
next to her own. So confusing, with perhaps 
twenty bedrooms all exactly alike on one 
side of a passage — how was one to remember 
whether one's number was one hundred and 
fifteen or one hundred and sixteen ? Her 
mind began to wander idly off into her 
schooldays. She was always very bad at 
figures. She disliked Euclid and all those 
subjects about angles and equations — so 
unimportant, not leading anywhere. History 
she liked, and botany, and reading about 
strange foreign lands, although she had 
always been too timid to visit them. And 
the lives of great people, most fascinating — 
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Beaconsfield, Lincoln, 
Grace Darling — there was a heroine for you — 
General Booth, a great, good man, even if 
a little vulgar. She remembered dear old 
Miss Trimmings talking about him one 
afternoon at the vicar of St. Bride's garden- 
party. She was so amusing.* She Good 

heavens t 

Almost unwittingly Millicent Bracegirdle 
had emitted a violent sneeze ! 

It was finished ! For the second time 
that night she was conscious of her heart 
nearly stopping. For the second time that 
night she was so paralysed with fear that 
her mentality went to pieces. Now she would 
hear the man get out of bed. He would 
walk across to the door, switch on the light, 
and then lift up the frill. She cou.'d almcst 
see that fierce moustachioed face glaring 
at her and growling something in French. 
Then he would thrust out an arm and drag 
her out. And then ? O God in Heaven ! 
what then ? 

" I shall scream before he dees it. Perhaps 
I had better scream now. If he drags me 
out he will clap his hand over my mouth. 
Perhaps chloroform " 

But somehow she could not scream. 
She was too frightened even for that. She 
lifted the frill and listened. Was he moving 
stealthily across the carpet ? She thought — 
no, she couldn't be sure. Anything might be 
happening. He might strike her from above 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



2IO 



Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty 



—with one of those heavy boots, perhaps. 
Nothing seemed to be happening, but the 
suspense was intolerable. She realized now 
that she hadn't the power to endure a night 
of it. Anything would be better than this 
— disgrace, imprisonment, even death. She 
would crawl out, wake the man, and try 
to explain as best she could. 

She would switch on the light, cough, 
and say : " Monsieur ! " 

Then he would start up and stare at 
her. 

Then she would say — what should she 
say ? 

" Pardon , monsieur, mats je What 

on earth was the French for ' I have made 
a mistake ' ? 

" J'ai tort. C'est la chambre — er — incorrect. 
Voulez-vous — er ? " 

What was the French for " door-knob," 
" let me go " ? 

It didn't matter. She would turn on the 
light, cough, and trust to luck. If he got 
out of bed and came towards her, she 
would 'scream the hotel down. 

THE resolution formed, she crawled 
deliberately out at the foot of the 
bed. She scrambled hastily towards 
the door — a perilous journey. In a few 
seconds the room was flooded with light. 
She turned towards the bed, coughed, and 
cried out boldly : — 

" Monsieur ! " 

Then for the third time that night little 
Miss Bracegirdle's heart all but stopped. 
In this case thp climax of the horror took 
longer to develop, but when it was reached 
it clouded the other two experiences into 
insignificance. 

The man on the bed was dead ! 

She had never beheld death before, but 
one does not mistake death. 

She stared at him, bewildered, and re- 
peated almost in a whisper : — 

" Monsieur ! Monsieur ! " 

Then she tip-tced towards the bed. The 
hair and moustache looked extraordinarily 
black in that grey, wax-like setting. The 
mouth was slightly open, and the face, 
which in life might have been vicious and 
sensual, looked incredibly peaceful and far 
away. It was as though she were regarding 
the features of a man across some vast 
passage of time, a being who had always 
been completely remote from mundane pre- 
occupations. 

When the full truth came home to her, 
little Miss Bracegirdle buried her face in 
her hands and murmured : — 

" Poor fellow — poor fellow ! " 

For the moment her own position seemed 
an affair of small consequence. She was 
in the presence of something greater and 



more all-pervading. Almost instinctively 
she knelt by the bed and prayed. 

For a few moments she seemed to be 
possessed by an extraordinary calmness 
and detachment. The burden of her hotel 
predicament was a gossamer trouble — a 
silly, trivial, almost comic episode, some- 
thing that could be explained away. 

But this man — he had lived his life, 
whatever it was like, and now he was in 
the presence of his Maker. What kind 
of man had he been ? 

Her meditations were broken by an 
abrupt sound. It was that of a pair of heavy 
boots being thrown down by the door 
outside. She started, thinking at first it 
was someone knocking or trying to get in. 
She heard the " boots," however, stumping 
away down the corridor, and the realization 
stabbed her with the truth of her own 
position. She mustn't stop there. The 
necessity to get out was even more urgent. 

To be found in a strange man's bedroom 
in the night is bad enough, but to be found 
in a dead man's bedroom was even worse. 
They would accuse her of murder, perhaps. 
Yes, that would be it — how could she 
possibly explain to these foreigners ? Good 
God ! they would hang her. No, guillotine 
her — that's what they do in France. They 
would chop her head off with a great steel 
knife. Merciful heavers ! She envisaged 
herself standing blindfold, by a priest and 
an executioner in a red cap, like that man 
in the Dickens story. What was his name ? 
— Sydney Carton, that was it. And before 
he went on the scaffold he said : — 

"It is a far, far better thing that I do 
than I have ever done " 

But no, she couldn't say that. It would 
be a far, far worse thing that she did. What 
about the dear dean ; her sister-in-law 
arriving alone from Paraguay to-morrow ; 
all her dear people and friends in Easing- 
stoke ; her darling Tony, the large grey 
tabby-cat ? It was her duty not to have 
her head chopped off if it could possibly be 
avoided. She could do no good in the room. 
She could not recall the dead to life. Her 
only mission was to escape. Any minute 
people might arrive. The chambermaid, 
the boots, the manager, the gendarmes. 
Visions of gendarmes arriving armed with 
swords and notebooks vitalized her almost 
exhausted energies. She was a desperate 
woman. Fortunately now she had not to 
worry about the light. She sprang once 
more at the door and tried to force it open 
with her fingers. The result hurt her and 
gave her pause. If she was to escape she 
must think, and think intensely. She mustn't 
do anything rash and silly ; she must just 
think and plan calmly. 

She examined the lock carefully. There 

"IYERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Stacy Aumonier 



211 



was no keyhole, but there was a slip-bolt, 
so that the hotel guest could lock the door 
on the inside, but it couldn't be locked on 
the outside. Oh, why didn't this poor dear 
dead man lock his door last night ? Then 
this trouble could not have happened. She 
could see the end of the steel pin. It was 
about half an inch down the hole. If anyone 
was passing they must surely notice the 
handle sticking out too far the other side ! 
She drew a hairpin out of her hair and tried 
to coax the pin back, but she only succeeded 
in pushing it a little farther in. She felt 
the colour leaving her face, and a strange 
feeling of faintness came over her. 

She was fighting for her life ; she mustn't 
give way. She darted round the room like 
an animal in a trap, her mind alert for the 
slightest crevice of escape. The window had 
no balcony, and there was a drop of five 
storeys to the street below. Dawn was break- 
ing. Soon the activities of the hotel and 
the city would begin. The thing must be 
accomplished before then. 

SHE went back once more and stared hard 
at the lock. She stared at the dead 
man's property, his razors and brushes 
and writing materials. He appeared to have 
a lot of writing materials, pens and pencils 
and rubber and sealing-wax. Sealing-wax ! 

Necessity is truly the mother of invention. 
It is in any case quite certain that Millicent 
Bracegirdle, who had never invented a thing 
in her life, would never have evolved the 
ingenious little device she did, had she not 
believed that her position was utterly 
desperate. For in the end this is. what she 
did. She got together a box of matches, a 
candle, a bar of sealing-wax, and a hairpin. 
She made a little pool of hot sealing-wax, 
into which she dipped the end of the hairpin. 
Collecting a small blob on the end of it, she 
thrust it into the hole, and let it" adhere to 
the end of the steel pin. At the seventh 
attempt she got the thing to move. 

It took her just an hour and ten minutes 
to get that steel pin back into the room, and 
when at length it came far enough through 
for her to grip it with her finger-nails, she 
burst into tears through the sheer physical 
tenseness of the strain. Very, very carefully 
she pulled it through, and holding it firmly 
with her left hand she fixed the knob with 
her right, then slowly turned it. 

The door opened ! 

The temptation to dash out into the 
corridor and scream with relief was almost 
irresistible, but she forbore. She listened. 
She peeped out. No one was about. With 
beating heart she went out, closing the door 
inaudibly ; she crept like a little mouse to 
(he room next door, stole in, and flung herself 
on the bed. Immediately she did so, it 



flashed through her mind that she had left her 
sponge-bag and towel in the dead man*s room ! 

In looking back upon her experience she 
always considered that that second expedi- 
tion was the worst of all. She might have 
let the sponge-bag and towel remain there, 
only that the towel — she never used hotel 
towels — had neatly inscribed in the corner 
" M. B." 

With furtive caution she managed to 
retrace her steps. She re-entered the dead 
man's room, reclaimed her property, and 
returned to her own. When the mission 
was accomplished she was indeed well-nigh 
spent. She lay on her bed and groaned 
feebly. At last she fell into a fevered sleep. 

It was eleven o'clock when she awoke, and 
no one had been to disturb her. The sun 
was shining, and the experiences of the night 
appeared a dubious nightmare. Surely she 
had dreamt it all ? 

With dread still burning in her heart she 
rang the bell. After a short interval of time 
the chambermaid appeared. The girl's eyes 
were bright with some uncontrollable excite- 
ment. No, she had not been dreaming. 
This girl had heard something. 

" Will you bring me some tea, please ? " 

" Certainly, madame." 

The maid drew back the curtains and 
fussed about the room. She was under a 
pledge of secrecy, but she. could contain 
herself no longer. Suddenly she approached 
the bed and whispered, excitedly : — 

" Oh, madame, I am promised not to 
tell — but a terrible thing has happened ! 
A man, a dead man, has been found in 
room one hundred and seventeen — a guest ! 
Please not to say I tell you. But they 
have all been here — the gendarmes, the 
doctors, the inspectors. Oh, it is terrible — 
terrible ! " 

The little lady in the bed said nothing. 
There was indeed nothing to say. But 
Marie Louise Lancret was too full of emo- 
tional excitement to spare her. 

" But the terrible thing is Do you 

know who he was, madame ? They say it is 
Boldhu, the man wanted for the murder of 
Jeanne Carreton in the barn at Vincennes. 
They say he strangled her, and then cut her 
up in pieces and hid her in two barrels, which 
he threw into the river. Oh, but he was 
a bad man, madame, a terrible bad man — 
and he died in the room next door. Suicide, 
they think ; or was it an attack of the heart ? 
Remorse ; some shock, perhaps. Did you 
say a caf& complet, madame ? " 

" No, thank you, my dear — just a cup of 
tea — strong tea." 

" Parfaitetnent, madame." 

The girl retired, and a little later a waiter 
entered the room with a tray of tea. She 
could never get over her surprise at this. 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



212 



Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty 



It seemed so — well, indecorous for a man 
— although only a waiter — to enter a lady's 
bedroom. There was, no doubt, a great 
deal in what the dear dean said. They 
were certainly very peculiar, these French 
people — they had most peculiar notions. 
It was not the way they behaved at Easing- 
stoke. She got farther under the sheets, but 
the waiter appeared quite indifferent to the 
situation. He put the tray down and retired. 

When he had gone, she sat up and sipped 
her tea, which gradually warmed her. She 
was glad the sun was shining. She would 
have to get up soon. They said that her 
sister-in-law's boat was due to berth at one 
o'clock. That would give her time to dress 
comfortably, write to her brother, and 
then go down to the docks. 

Poor m&ri ! So he had been a murderer, 
a man who cut up the bodies of his victims 
— and she had spent the night in his bed- 
room ! They were certainly a most — how 
could she describe it ? — people. Nevertheless 
she felt a little glad that at the end she 
had been there to kneel and pray by his 
bedside. Probably nobody else had ever 
done that. It was very difficult to judge 
people. Something at some time might have 
gone wrong. He might not have murdered 
the woman after all. People were often 
wrongly convicted. She herself. If the 
police had found her in that room at three 

o'clock that morning It is that which 

takes place in the heart which counts. 
One learns and learns. Had she not learnt 
that one can pray just as effectively lying 
under a bed as kneeling beside it ? Poor 
man ! 

SHE washed and dressed herself and walked 
calmly down to the writing-room. There 
was no evidence of excitement among the 
other hotel guests. Probably none of them 
knew about the tragedy except herself. 
She went to a writing-table, and after 
profound meditation wrote as follows : — , 

My Dear Brother, — 

J arrived late last night, after a very 
pleasant journey. Everyone was very kind 
and attentive, the manager was sitting up 
for me. I nearly lost my spectacles in the 
restaurant-car, but a kind old gentleman 
found them and returned them to me. There 
was a most amusing American child on 
the train.' I will tell you about her on my 
return. The people are very pleasant, but 
the food is peculiar, nothing plain and 
wholesome. I am going down to meet Annie 
at one o'clock. How have you been keep- 
ing, my dear ? I hope you have not had 
any further return of the bronchial attacks. 
Please tell Lizzie that I remembered in the 
train on the way here that that large stone jar 



of marmalade that Mrs. Hunt made is be- 
hind those empty tins on the top shelf of the 
cupboard next to the coach-house. I wonder 
whether Mrs. Butter was able to come to even- 
song after all ? This is a nice hotel, but I 
think Annie and I will stay at the Grand 
to-night, as the bedrooms here are rather 
noisy. Well, my dear, nothing more till 
I return. Do take care of yourself . 
Your loving sister, 

Millicent. 

Yes, she couldn't tell Peter about it, 
neither in the letter nor when she went back 
to him. It was her duty not to tell him. It 
would only distress him : she felt convinced 
of it. In this curious foreign atmosphere 
the thing appeared possible, but in r Easing- 
stoke the mere recounting of the fantastic 
situation would be positively indelicate. 
There was no escaping that broad general 
fact — she had spent a night in a strange 
man's bedroom. Whether he was a gentle- 
man or a criminal, even whether he- was 
dead or alive, did not seem to mitigate 
the jar upon her sensibilities, or, rather, 
it would not mitigate the jar upon the 
peculiarly sensitive relationship between 
her brother and herself. To say that she 
had been to the bathroom, the knob of the 
door-handle came off in her hand, she was 
too frightened to awaken the sleeper or 
scream, she got under the bed — well, it 
was all perfectly true. Peter would believe 
her, but — one simply could not conceive 
such a situation in Easingstoke deapery. 
It would create a curious little barrier 
between- them, as though she had been 
dipped in some mysterious solution which 
alienated her. It was her duty not to tell. 

She put on her hat and went out to post 
the letter. She distrusted an hotel letter-box. 
One never knew who handled these letters. 
It was not a proper official way of treating 
them: She walked to the head post-office 
in Bordeaux. 

The sun was shining. It was very pleasant 
walking about amongst these queer,- excit- 
able people, so foreign and different looking 
— and the cafes already crowded with chat- 
tering men and women ; and the flower 
stalls, &nd the strange odout of — what was 
it ? salt ? brine ? charcoal ? A military 
band was playing in the square — very gay-and 
moving. It was all life, and movement, and 
bustle — thrilling rather. 

" I spent a night in a strange man's 
bedroom." 

Little Miss Bracegirdle hunched her 
shoulders, hummed to herself, and walked 
faster. She reached the post-office, and 
found the large metal plate with the slot 
for letters and R.F. stamped above it. 
Something official at iast ! Her face was a 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Stacy Aumonier 



213 




'Oh, madame, 1 am promised not to tell — but a terrible thing has happened!'* 



little flushed — was it the warmth of the 
day, or the contact of movement and life ? 
— as she put her letter into the slot. After 
posting it she put her hand into the slot 
and flicked it round to see that there were 



o see that tnere 1 

byXiOGgl< 



no foreign contraptions to impede its safe 
delivery. No, the letter had dropped safely 
in, She sighed contentedly, and walked otf 
in the direction of the docks to meet her 
sister-in-law from Paraguay. 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



*M 



H G WELLS 



Oil 



■» ■ ■ ~ wm 



THE SIX GREATEST 
MEN IN HISTORY 

^?tt Iirte.r'vJe.-w hy 
BRUCE BARTON 



MR. WELLS got up from Ins scat 
by the window and came forward 
pleasantly, a medium-sized man, 
rather stocky, with the clipped 
moustache that his photographs have made 
familiar to all of us. 

" I received your letter/' he said, cheer* 
fully. " A very interesting letter, Mr. Barton, 
and in one or two points even amusing. 
Your second question, for example — now, 
that's an amusing one. You ask whether it 
is possible to name the half-dozen out- 
standing figures of history— which is quite 
harmless — and then you complicate the 
tiling by adding, ' Would there be a woman 
among them ? J *' He laughed. " Ones 
chivalrous instincts would make him want 
to say * Yes * to that question," he con- 
tinued, " but the honest historian must 
answer ' No.' " 

I brought my chair up closer, for he speaks 
rapidly and in very low tones. He is prob- 
ably a poor lecturer, and, recognizing that 
fact, cancelled his American lecture tour. 
That is one of the evidences of greatness, I 
imagine— to know your own limitations and 
stick to the thing you can do best. 

" If you don't object, I should like to 
start with my first question/' I said. 4i Now 
that you've taken a good look at all the 
folks who have played this game of life, 
which is the greatest of all ? Which one, in 
character and influence, has left the most 
permanent impression on the world ? " 

There was no hesitation in his reply. 




J hvlv Iterrtjvrd. 



" THE DOMINANT FIGURE IN HISTORY," 

u You probably expect me to answer, 
Jesus of Nazareth," he said, " There can 
be no other answer ; His is easily the domi- 
nant figure in history, I am speaking of 

Digitized by VjOOF 



Him, of course, as a man, for I conceive that 
the historian must ireat Him as a man, just 
as the painter must paint Him as a man. 
We do not know as much about Him as we 
should like to know. The accounts of His 
life and work as set down in the four Gospels 
are sometimes obscure and contradictory ; 
but all four of them agree in giving us a 
picture of a very definite personality ; they 
carry a conviction of reality* 'To assume 
that He never lived, that the accounts of 
His life are inventions, is more difficult and 
raises more problems in the path of the 
historian than to accept the essential elements 
of the Gospel stories as fact. 

" Of course, you and I live in countries 
where, to millions of men and women, Jesus 
is more than a man, But the historian 
must disregard that fact ; he must adhere 
to the evidence which would pass unchal- 
lenged if his book were to be read in every 
nation under the sun. Now, it is interesting 
and significant — isn't it ? — that an historian, 
setting forth in that spirit; without any 
theological bias whatever, should find that 
he simply cannot portray the progress of 
humanity honestly without giving a fore- 
most pla e to a penniless teacher from Naza- 
reth. The old-fashioned historians ignored 
Jesus entirely J they ignored the growth 
and spread of His teaching, regarding it 
as something apart irom life, something, 
as it were, that happened only on Sundays, 
He left no impress on the historical records 
of His time. Yet, more than nineteen hundred 
years later, an historian like myself, who does 
not even call him&ulf a Christian, finds the 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



H. G, Wells 



215 



picture centring irresistibly around the life 
and character of this simple, lovable man. 

" Ali sorts of dogma and tradition have 
been imposed upon His personality, of course ; 
it is the fate oi all great religious leaders to 
be misinterpreted by their followers. But 
from underneath this mass of the miraculous 
and incredible, the man himself keeps break- 
ing through. We feel the magnetism that 
induced men who had seen Him only once 
to leave their business and follow Him. He 
filled them with love and courage. Weak 
and ailing people were heartened by His 
presence* He spoke with a knowledge and 
authority that baffled the wise and subtle. 
But other teachers have done all this. These 
talents alone would not have given Him the 
permanent place of power which He occupies ; 
that place is His by virtue of the new and 
simple and profound doctrine which He 
brought — the universal, loving Fatherhood 
of God and the coming of the Kingdom of 
Heaven, 

It is one of the most revolutionary 
doctrines that have ever stirred and changed 
human thought. His followers failed to 
grasp it ; no age has even partially under- 
stood its tremendous challenge to the estab- 
lished institutions of 
mankind. But the 
world began to be a 
different world from 
the day that doctrine 
was preached ; and 
every step toward 
wider understanding 
and tolerance and good 
will is a step in the 
direction oi universal 
brotherhood, which He 
proclaimed, 



THE HISTORIAN'S 
TEST OF GREATNESS 

M So the historian, 
disregarding the theo- 
logical significance of 
His lite, writes the 
name ol Jesus of 
Nazareth at the top of 
the list oi the world's 
greatest characters, 
lor the historian's test 
or greatness is nol 

What did Heaccumu- 
-ate tor himself ? ' or 

What did He build 
up t to tumble down at 
his death ? ' Not that at all, but this ; 

Was the world different because He lived ? 
Did He start men to thinking along iresh 
Jines with a vigour and vitality that per- 
sisted after Hmi ? r By this test Jesus stands 




Gaut.mu Buddha 



first \ and if you ask for another name to 
write under his, there is Gautama Buddha. 

* H Here again it is difficult to disentangle 
the man himself from the mass of accumu- 
lated legend. To my mind, the most success^ 
fui attempt to portray Gautama is that of 
I<hys Davids, the author whom I quote so 
fully in ' The Outline of History,' Any such 
portrayal lays itself open to the charge of 
representing one man's prejudice and judg- 
ment. But as with Jesus, so with Gautama 
Buddha, you sense the reality : you see 
clearly a man, simple, devout, lonely, battling 
for light — a vivid human personality, not a 
myth, 

" He, too, brought a message universal in 
its character. It knows no limitations of 
time or of place : many of our best and most 
modern ideas are in closest harmony with 
it. All the miseries and discontents of lite 
are due to insatiable selfishness, he taught. 
Selfishness takes three principal forms, and 
all are fraught with sorrow : The first is the 
desire to satisfy the senses, sensuousness ; 
the second is the craving for personal immor- 
tality ; and the third is the desire for 
prosperity, worldliness* All these must be 
overcome — that is to say, a man must be 
no longer living for 
himself before he can 
be serene. And his 
reward is Nirvana ; 
which is not oblivion, 
as we have wrongly 
assumed, but the ex- 
tinction of futile per- 
sonal aims, whose 
going lets serenity into 
the soul. 

J " Jesus said, ' Seek 
ye first the Kingdom 
of God/ and ' Whoso- 
ever will save his life 
shall lose it/ Gautama 
ill different language 
had called men to 
self-forgetfuiness five 
hundred years before. 
There comes to you 
irom reading his hie, 
as Irom the life oi 
Jesus, the impression 
of a mind so powerful, 
so penetrating, that 
after him things make 
a fresh start* He 
stands on one of the 
corners of hist or)' ; 
events hinge upon 
him ; his influence persists," 

" Would you class Mohammed and Con- 
fucius with these two ? " 1 asked Mr* Wells. 
" They founded great religions also." 

" We know too frttle about China to 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



216 



The Six Greatest Men in History 



include Confucius with our half-dozen great- 
est, " he answered. " He was certainly 
a powerful intellect . As Hirth says, ' There 
can be no doubt that he had a greater 
influence on the development of Chinese 
national character than many emperors 
taken together.' But his teachings lack 
the universality of Jesus's teaching and 
Gautama's ; he was great, but until we 
know China more intimately we cannot 
say that he was among the greatest. As 
for Mohammed, he seems to me to h&ve 
been clearly surpassed by two of his associ- 
ates : Abu-Bekr, his close friend and sup- 
porter, and the Caliph Omar, his successor. 
" There is too much of the clay of human 
weakness mixed with the finer elements 
in Mohammed's character. He had too 
many wives and too much trouble with them. 
Allah was too often called upon to intervene 
with a special revelation designed to extricate 
the Prophet from domestic difficulties. He 
was vain, egotistical, and filled with hot 
desire. I do not place him among the greatest 
of human figures, nor am I one of those who 
find the Koran wholly inspiring and splendid. 
I own it in two translations and I have made 
diligent effort to like it, but I am unable 
to lash myself into a glow of admiration. 
Mohammed was the immediate cause of 
calling forth a power much greater than 
himself — the spirit of Islam. It grew out 
of the character of the Arab people. It 
was, and is, something vastly more significant 
than the man who made himself its spokes- 
man. 

- A GREAT NEW THING IN THE WORLD.* 

" No, I would leave out Mohammed. 
Instead of his name I would write the name 
of a wise old Greek, Aristotle. He began 
a great new thing in the world. Before 
his time, men had asked questions about 
themselves and their world ; but he set 
them to classifying and analysing the 
information which their questions brought 
forth. He was the tutor of Alexander the 
Great, whose support and resources made 
it possible for Aristotle to carry on his 
studies on a scale never before attempted. 
At one time he had a thousand men at his 
disposal, scattered throughout Asia and 
Greece, collecting material for his natural 
history. It is reported that he sent assistants 
into far-away Egypt to study the Nile and 
to chart its habit of overflowing its banks. 
Political as well as natural science began 
with him. The students of the Lyceum 
under his direction made an analysis of 
one hundred and fifty-eight political con- 
stitutions. 

" The death of Alexander and the breaking 
up of his empire put a too early stop to 



Aristotle's work, and after him things 
lapsed for a long time. But the world had 
been given a taste of the scientific method 
and never wholly forgot it. Again and again 
men kept turning back to the great, clear, 
penetrating intelligence that had set the 
example. Plato and other philosophers had 
said : ' Let us take hold of life and remodc! 
it/ Aristotle said : ' First of all, let's gel 
the facts.' That insistence on facts and the 
rigid analysis of facts, that determination 
to look the truth in the face, to deal with 
the world as it is rather than as we might 
wish it to be, was a big new step in human 
progress. As a younger man I was a Platonist; 
the poetry and fine imaginative power of 
his philosophy captivated me. But as I 
began to dig into the cause of things in 
preparation for ' The Outline/ I became 
convinced that Aristotle's scientific begin- 
nings were a far more significant thing 
in the processes of history. He was the 
founder of the scientific method ; and 
when we stop to consider what humanity 
owes to the development and achievements 
of the scientific spirit, I think we must 
agree that the name of Aristotle must have 
a place on our honour roll." 

" Aristotle the teacher goes on the roll," 
I suggested, " and Alexander the Great 
stays off. Is that correct ? " 

" Unquestionably." 
' " And that holds for Gesar and Napoleon, 
too, doesn't it ? " 

THE CLAIMS OF ALEXANDER THE 
GREAT— 

" I have gone to some pains to make my 
position clear on those three gentlemen in 
' The Outline/ " he answered with a chuckle. 
" What were their permanent contributions 
to humanity — these three who have appro- 
priated to themselves so many of the pages 
of our histories ? Take Alexander first. 
Inheriting an effective military machine 
from his father, he conquered Persia and 
remained in undisputed possession of that 
vast empire for six years. What did he 
create ? Historians have said that he 
Hellenized the East. But Babylonia and 
Egypt swarmed with Greeks before his 
time ; he was not the cause but a part 
of the Hellenization. For a time the whole 
world from the Adriatic to the Indus was 
under one rule, and that unification had 
been his father's dream. But what did 
Alexander do to make the unification per- 
manent ? He built no roads, established 
no secure sea communications, gave no 
thought, apparently, to institutions of 
education. 

" He did one thing that historians have 
held up as indicating a vision of a melting 

togct,, GWteff l o™& He held ' 



H. G. Wells 



217 



Arisfcotl 



great marriage feast at which he and ninety 
of his generals were married to Persian 
brides ; at the same time several thousand 
ol his soldiers who had 
married the daughters 
of Asia were showered 
with gifts- This whole- 
sale wedding may or 
may not have been 
part of a vague plan 
of world unity. If it 
was, it is about all the 
evidence of that plan 
that we know, 

"As his power in- 
creased, his arrogance 
and violence grew with 
it. He drank hard and 
murdered ruthlessly, 
After a protracted 
drinking bout in Baby- 
lon a sudden fever came 
on him, and he died 
at the age of thirty- 
three . A I most imme- 
diately his empire be- 
gan to break up, One 
custom remained to 
remind men of him. 
Previously most men 

had worn beards. But so great was 
Alexander's personal vanity that he would 
not let his face be covered, He shaved, and 
so set a fashion in Greece and Italy which 
lasted many centuries. A good fashion, 
perhaps, but not a very significant contri- 
bution to the race, 

CESAR— 

" As with Alexander, so with Cesar. 
Here, again, historians have claimed to 
discover evidence of marvellous world poli- 
cies. But what are the facts ? There can 
he little doubt that he was a dissolute and 
extravagant young man- And in middle 
age, at the crest of his power, when he 
might have done so much for the world if 
he actually possessed the vision ascribed 
to him, he spent the better part of a year 
in Egypt feasting and entertaining himself 
with the lovely Cleopatra, He was fifty-four 
when the affair began. Surely that year in 
Egypt seems to reveal the elderly sensualist, 
or sentimentalist, rather than the master 
ruler of men." 

AND NAPOLEON. 




e. 



" And Napoleon M 

A copy of " The Outline " was on the 
table. Mr. Wells opened it and turned to 
that passage which is so magnificently at 
variance with the traditional histories that 



it is worth quoting again. After relating 
how France had put herself completely 
in Bonaparte's hands, it continues: — 

'* Now surely here 
was opportunity such 
as never came to man 
before, Here was a 
position in which a 
man might well bow 
himself in fear of him- 
self, and search his 
heart and serve God 
and man to the utmost. 
The old order of things 
was dead or dying ; 
stran ge new forces 
drove through the 
world seeking form and 
direction ; the promise 
of a world republic 
and enduring world 
peace whispered in a 
multitude of startled 
minds. Had this man 
any profundity of 
vision , and power of 
creative imagination, 
had he been accessible 
to any disinterested 
ambition, he might 
have done work for mankind that would 
have made him the very sun of history. , , ♦ 
There lacked nothing to the occasion but 
a noble imagination. And failing that, 
Napoleon could do no more than strut upon 
the crest of this great mountain of oppor- 
tunity like a cockerel on a dung-hill, , « . 
Until, as Victor Hugo said in his tremendous 
way, ' God was bored by him . . * I ' " 

I read the passage and laid the book on 
the table, 

M An American professor made a study 
of eminent men by measuring the amount 
of space given to each one in the biographical 
dictionaries/* I suggested. bl Napoleon's 
wame led all the rest/ 1 

" That is easily explained," Mr. Wells 
replied. " A biographical dictionary is a 
record of activities, not a weighing of per- 
sonalities. A London wine merchant with 
a list ol all his customers and the clubs he 
had joined might conceivably occupy a 
% r cry impressive space in a biographical 
dictionary. But that would not prove that 
the wine merchant was an impressive char- 
acter* Neither the wine merchant nor 
Napoleon belongs to our list. One great 
monarch does deserve nomination, however ; 
or so it seems to me at least," 
" Charlemagne ? " I asked. 
H * No, not Charlemagne. Charlemagne 
was one ol the l magnificent barbarians/ 
as I have termed them. Like a number cf 
others, he pdripMa Itfre rfatile ambition of 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



218 



The Six Greatest Men in History 



restoring the Roman Empire. That proves 
that he lacked something," Mr. Wells added, 
with a smile. " For one of the tests of 
greatness is a 



man's capacity to 
recognize that 



when a thing 
dead it's dead. 



i- 



King Asoka, 
From a Tibetan painted banner. 

HtiJrvdnad hit kind nwintwtan frwn fffitrtU* "Indian 
i'nivtinff " (John BtmrPRfA 



himself to the hap- 
He organized the 



A MONARCH 

WHO "SHINES 

ALMOST ALONE, 

A STAR.** 

* - The monarch 
I have in mind 
lived long before 
Charlemagne or 
even Carsar. He 
ruled a vast 
empire which 
stretched from 
Afghanistan to 
Madras ; and he is 
the only military 
monarch on record 
who abandoned 
warfare after vic- 
tory. After a sue- 
cessful war — his 
one and only war 
— he announced 
that he would 
henceforth turn 
from battle and devote 
piness of his people, 
digging of wells and 
the planting ot trees for 
shade. He appointed 
officers to su per v i se 
charitable works. He 
planted gardens for 
growing medicinal 
herbs, and provided for 
the edu cation of 
women, He sought to 
develop in his whole 
people an understand 
ing of the teachings 
of Buddha as a guide 
to successful living. 
I or twenty-eight years 
he worked sanely and 
unselhshly for the reai 
needs of men. Among 
all the thousands oi 
kings, emperors, and 
majesties, great and 
Kittle, Asoka shines al- 
most alone, a star. 
More living men cherish 
Uis memory to-day than 
nave ever heard the name of Charlemagne/' 

1 had never even heard of Asoka until 

Digitized by V^UUgK 



1 read "The Outline/ and f said so to 

Mr. Wells. 

H It's a rather appalling thought that 

among so many 
inonarchs who 
lorded it over men 
only one should 
get his name 
written on our 
list/' I continued. 
" And is there no 
Prime Minister ? 
No Richelieu, no 
Talleyrand, no 
Pitt ? N 




.press ; 
know 



his 
very 



•CHi'ji.'ii rf. in.t 



name 
little 




Roger Bacon, 



THE ONE 

ENGLISHMAN 

WHO DESERVES 

A PLACE. 

M Oh, no; tney 
were quite inci- 
dental," Mr. Wells 
replied. " But one 
Englishman docs 
deserve a pi ace f it 
seems to me. He 
was a man who 
lacked many of 
the elements of 
greatness, yet he 
was very cardinal 
in human pro- 
was Roger Bacon. We 
about his life, but his 
books, hotly phrased 
and sometimes quite 
abusive, voiced a pas- 
sionatc insistence upon 
the need for experi- 
ment and of collecting 
knowledge- * Experi- 
ment, experiment,' he 
cried again and again ; 
and as a promise of 
the progress which ex- 
periment would make 
possible, when once 
men had thrown off 
the chains of ignor- 
ance and authority, 
he wrote this famous 
paragraph, which tu»s 
been often quoted. 
Remember that it was 
written more than 
six hundred years ago, 
somewhere between 
1210 and I2<)3 :— 

h l Machines for 
navigating are possible 
without rowers, so that great ships suited 
to river or ocean, guided by one man, may 

IVERSITV OF MICHIGAN 



H. G. Wells 



2tg 



be borne with greater speed than if they 
were full of men. Likewise, cars may be 
made so that without a draught animal 
they may be moved cum impetu ine$Hmabili t 
as we deem the scythed chariots to have 
been from which antiquity fought. And 
flying machines are possible, so that a man 
may sit in the middle, turning some device 
by which artificial wings may l>eat the air 
in the manner of the flying bird.' 

" Thus Roger Bacon, too, set men to 
thinking along new, fresh lines, and left an 
influence that has 
lived for the bene- 
fit of all genera- 
tions. There will 
be those, of 
course, who will 
dispute his right 
to a place on our. 
roll ; some will 
have candidates 
whose claims can 
be urged in very 
convincing fash- 
ion. A man rises 
out of his age ; it 
is always difficult 
to determine how 
much he owes to 
his contempo- 
raries ; how much 
of what he seemed 
to be was due lo 
his own innate 
force, and how 
much to accident. 
But in my judg- 
ment these five 
names represent 
basic contribu- 
tions to human 
thought and pro 
gress. 




WASHINGTON 
OR LINCOLN? 

" Now, xv hen 
vou come down 
nearer to our own 

times and ask for a sixth name to complete 
the list, the problem is difficult* There 
is one striking phenomenon in modern 
history, however. That phenomenon is 
America. It represents something so new, 
so tremendous, so full of promise for the 
future o£ the world, that it seems as if 
America ought surely to have the right 
to nominate at least one member to our 
list. Shall it be Washington or Lincoln ? 
Without Washington, there would hardly 
have been a United States ; and yet Wash- 
ington is not the typical American. He 



FkiA* h W. S. L'»v,itKl- 



Abraham Lincoln. 



was essentially an English gentle 



man. 



All 



his tastes, all his traditions, and many of his 
associations and friendships ran back to 
the mother country. 

" America might have imported her 
Washington, full grown, from the old world. 
She had to grow her own Lincoln. 

lt He, better than any other, seems to 
me to embody the essential characteristics 
of America. He stands (or equality of 
opportunity, for the right and the chance 
of the child of the humblest home to reach 
the highest place. His simplicity, his humour, 

his patience, his 
deep-abiding op- 
timism, based on 
the conviction 
that right will 
prevail and that 
things mint work 
themselves out- 
all these seem to 
typify the best 
that you have to 
give. And they 
are very rich gifts 
indeed . 

* J It is interest- 
ing and significant 
to the historian 
that the Lincoln 
legend has already 
gro wn to such 
proportions. He 
has been dead only 
half a century, 
yet already he 
has a secure and 
permanent place 
in the affections 
of men, not only 
in America, but 
everywhere. 1 
think we are safe 
in including 
Abraham Lincoln 
in our list of per- 
manently great 
figures ; not merely 
because of his own 
greatness, but be- 
cause of the greatness of the spirit of America, 
which he, better than any other American, 
embodies and exemplifies*" 

A LIST TO STIMULATE WONDFR. 

Mr, Wells folded up the paper on winch 
my questions were written as if to intimate 
politely that he had talked long enough, 
f glanced at the list of six names — Jesus, 
Buddha, Aristotle, Asoka, Roger Bacon, 
Lincoln. Surely a list to stimulate wonder, 
to provoke questionings in a man's mind 
about the ob]ert:j for which lives are lived ; 

IYERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



220 



The Six Greatest Men in History 



yes, and questionings about himself I 
thought of the thousands of kings who had 
erected temples and arches to bear their 
names — seeking by brick and stone to 
ensure remembrance ; of the emperors who 
determined to lay hold on immortality 
while they still lived, by decreeing their 
own divinity. Not one of them is in the list. 
No millionaire is there, except perhaps 
Asoka, who is included not because of what 
he had but because of what he gave. It 
seemed a grim sort of joke that these men 
who sought fame with every ounce of their 
selfish energies should have failed utterly 
to be remembered, while six simple, very 
human men should achieve lasting eminence. 
1 recalled Emerson's observation that the 
mass of men worry themselves into nameless 
graves, while here and there a great unselfish 
soul forgets itself into immortality. 

I quoted the line to Mr. Wells. 

" There is truth in that," he answered. 
" We think of human history as being 
very long; but it is not. In Ceylon there 
is a tree which is probably the oldest 
living thing in the world. It was planted 
from a cutting of the Bo Tree, the tree 
under which Buddha had his remarkable 
spiritual experience, and it has been tended 
with extraordinary care through the cen- 
turies. Its limbs are supported by pillars ; 
and earth has been repeatedly terraced 
about it so that it could keep sending out 
fresh roots. How many more generations 
of men it may look down upon we cannot 
foretell, but we know how many it already 
has seen come and go. It was planted in 
245 B.C. 

" When Gesar was born the old tree was 
already old. That is a startling thought — 
that almost all the years since men began 
to make dependable records are spanned by 
the life of a single tree. We are still in the 
teginnings of things ; yet enough centuries 
have already passed to enable us to see 
what kind of lives and what sort of influence 
persist beyond the grave. In wTiting 4 The 
Outline of History,' where everything had 
to be compressed, we could find no space 
for many of the Roman emperors, we could 
not mention even the names of many of 
the kings of France and Germany and Great 
Britain. But we gave a good many lines 
to a poor monk named Luther and to two 
other very humble, very simple beings, 
Loyola and St. Francis of Assisi. Why ? 
Because the kings and emperors only took ; 
these men gave ; and by the spirit of their 
giving they wrought permanent changes 



in the thought and lives of many millions 
after them. 

WHAT CHARACTERISTICS MAKE FAR 

REAL HAPPINESS AND PERMANENT 

INFLUENCE? 

" So with the six whose names we have 
placed in our highest honour list. If the 
readers of The Strand Magazine want 
to discover what characteristics make for 
real happiness and permanent influence, 
they can hardly do better than read what- 
ever they can find about the life and works 
of these six. The characteristics which they 
embody are the characteristics to which 
humanity is going to pay more and more 
tribute in the future. Napoleon had a run 
of almost twenty years. A Napoleon to-day 
would hardly run five years ; indeed, I 
think I may say that a bad case of Napoleon, 
so to speak, would be nipped before he had 
a chance to get really started. The world 
has passed the place[where it will any longei 
tolerate — to say nothing of honouring— 
men who are merely ' getters.' 

" A rather striking instance of the change 
that is taking place everywhere was furnished 
by a speech given before the head masters 
of English schools at Leeds some time ago. 
The late Mr. F. W. Sanderson, head master of 
the Oundle School, where the sons of some 
of England's proudest familiel are educated, 
was the speaker. 

" ' We have been training our boys for 
aristocracy,' he said. ' We shall have to 
train them now for service.' 

" That was spoken only a few months 
ago, but it is merely an echo of what Jesus 
spoke nineteen hundred years back, and 
Buddha, in different language, five hundred 
years earlier. Our list of great names proves 
the truth of the injunction that he who 
would be greatest must win his place and 
hold it by rendering the best and largest 
service. 

" Without such absorption of one's self 
in the service of the business the large 
rewards do not come. We shall see that 
truth more and more manifest. Therefore 
we are giving helpful advice, I take it, 
when we suggest to ambitious men that they 
make themselves familiar with the lives 
of the six men we have named. Such reading 
will give no promise of an easy road to wealth 
or position, but it will reveal something 
infinitely more valuable. It will furnish an 
inspiration to the sort of living that makes 
for permanent influence through real service. 
That is success." 



Next month a number off eminent men will express their opinions on Mr. Weill's views, including t 
G. K. CHESTERTON MAURICE HEWLETT GEORGE BERNARD SHAW 

EDWARD CLODD SIR OLIVER LODGE ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

LORD RIDDELL 

Digitized by \jO<T 



UIIIQI I I '.' I I I 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



221 




MUSTARD-POT 
HUNTSMAN 




S 



GILBERT 
FRANKAU 



ILLUSTRATED BY 
GILBERT ffOLIDAY 



INCE most 

hunting women 

and all hunting 

men are liars, 
and since even the 
veracity of my 
friend Mustard -Pot 
(sometime The 
Yellow Peril, some- 
time Butter-pat) 
may be questioned by modern 
readers in search of modern 
realism, I wish to state very 
clearly at the outset of this, the strangest 
episode in Mustard-Pot's strange career, that 
the main outlines of it were given to me 
one cold kennel -inspecting Sunday after- 
noon by one of the most matter-of-fact 
among my acquaintances in the Shires, by one 
whom I would as soon suspect of skirting as 
of falsehood, by none other, to wit, than 
Rutland Romeo, 

Now Rutland Romeo, though he is a 
stallion-hound of no mean lineage, tracing 
his pedigree back through Rally wood and 
Reckless to that greatest of all kennel- 
ancestors, Rambler himself, belies his name 
— being, in cold fact, so ugly in appearance 
that when the hunt float first decanted him 
at the Home Farm of Lomondham Hall. 
Sam Slooman, Vic* Lomond ham's Lincoln- 
shire cowman, to whose care, in company 
with the handsome Wanderer, he was 
entrusted for his puppy- walking, declared 
him a cross between a badger-pied beagle 
and a blooming bulldog. 

Wherefore, in his puppyhood, Romeo's 
lineage failed to counteract Romeo's looks : 
it being the well -formed Wanderer and 
not his bow-legged kennel companion 
whom Sam Slooman J s daughters petted 
and Sam Slooman's wiie over-fed ; the 
straight -limbed Wanderer whom, on sunny 
summer mornings, Naomi Lomond ham per- 
mitted to follow her from the rose gar- 
clens to the kitchen gardens and from the 

Copyright » iqas, by G illicit Fiankau in the U.SiW 



kitchen gardens to 
the paddocks. So 
that, although he 
was too well-bred 
for jealousy, the 
sensitive puppy- 
s o u 1 of Romeo 
suffered as only 
sensitive puppy- 
souls can; and 
when in the fullness 
ot time, loping aimless and mis- 
chievous across far pastures, he 
found him a friend, a huge up- 
standing horse- friend, yellow as a buttercup 
and garrulous as a magpie, he lavished on 
that horse-friend all the devotion which 
other happier hounds lavish on human kind. 
They became inseparables^ — the bow- legged 
badger- pied pup and the straight dim ted 
saffron gelding ; and Sam Slooman , who was 
imaginative for a cowman, ustd to swear 
they talked to each other. <H just like Chris- 
tians," all through those long summer after- 
noons when Lomond ham Vide drowsed like 
a tired fox- huntress and the rare wheat fields 
ripened red-gold as Mrs, Monty Peri vale's 
hair against the green of league-long ridge- 
and -furrow. 

Possibly those talks were the Primary 
Cause of which the following story is only the 
Secondary Effect. 



I 



II. 

WISH to goodness I hadn't railed those 
nags to Up-Tollaton," grumbled Sir 
Victor Plownght Lomond ham, Bart., as 
he peered across the vast dining-room of the 
Hall to where, between two impossibly-attired 
seventeenth -century Lomond hams, the broad 
mulhoned window* showed a late March 
landscape, sunless and laced with that 
driving rain against which not even the 
most expensive red coat avails the frozen 
shoulder-blades. 

" It's putrid weather/' agreed Lady Lo- 

^^^'rotnOTcfff^r cup from 



»22 



Mustard-Pot — Huntsman 



the Georgian coffee-pot. -i Still, I think. 
I'd better make a one-horse day of it." 

" I shouldn't if I were you," said Lo- 
mondham, gloomily. " It'll be as cold as 
charity messing about in Lornham Big 
Wood." 

Naomi Lomondham drained her cup in 
silence. She, too, felt gloomy. She had the 
hump, a regular hunting hump. This 
second season after their marriage had been 
a rotten one — first frost, then foot-and- 
mouth disease, and, finally, an influenza 
epidemic in stables which was still laying up 
a round dozen of their four-and-twenty 
horses. " It might clear up," she ventured, 
striving for cheeriness. 

" It won't." Her husband filled his cigar- 
case from the cabinet on the sideboard. 
" And even if it does, what are you going to 
ride ? " 

" Well, there's Selim." 

" I'll want Selim for Saturday/' 

" Ali, then." 

" Ali's to be shod this afternoon." 

Brightly, Naomi suggested other horses — 
Nigger Princess, Quicksilver, Silver Glory. 
Darkly, Lomondham vetoed each and every 
one. " Just as well give them a rest to-day," 
decided Sir Victor Lomondham. " Give 
yourself a rest, too. It'll do you good." 

11 No, it won't." Naomi's black eyes 
flashed. " It won't do me a bit of good. I 
hate missing days at the end of the season." 

A knock and a footman announcing, " The 
car's at the door, Sir Victor," interrupted 
them ; and Victor, who would have preferred 
hunting through the deluge to a first-class 
cabin in the ark, cheered up a little. " I'll 
tell you what you can do if you like," he 
said, laughing. " You can have Mustard- 
Pot." 

" Can I ? " Naomi did not laugh, for 
Mustard-Pot — though slightly tamer than 
two years since — had never been backed by 
female. " Can I really ? That is kind of 
you, Victor." And she continued, her 
husband's over-night decision to hunt thirty 
miles away from home with a pack whose 
followers included that particularly hard- 
thrusting and even harder-flirting lady, 
Mrs. Monty Perivale, adding acid to the 
words : " You don't want me to break my 
neck, do you ? " 

At which juncture any ordinary husband 
would have kissed his wife and the domestic 
breeze subsided. Lomondham's instinct, 
however, being all for dominance, whether 
of wives, horses, or tenantry, drove him on a 
different course. " Dash it all," he thought, 
remembering his first hunting experience on 
Mustard-Pot, that seven-mile bolt which had 
culminated in bis engagement to Naomi, 
'•she made me ride the brute once. I'll 
make her ride him this time." " Of course. 



if you haven't got the nerve," he said, with 
the suspicion of a sneer; and at that the 
domestic breeze blew to a well-mannered 
gale. 

" Are you trying to put the wind up me, 
Victor ? " asked Naomi, her mind visualizing 
Mrs. Monty's auburn hair and pale com- 
plexion. 

" Of course not." Lomondham's instinct 
drove him on. " Of course I'm not trying 
to put the wind up you. There's nothing 
the matter with Mustard-Pot these days. 
All you have to do is to keep hold of his 
head, ride him well up, and wide of hounds." 

" And supposing he bolts with me ? Sup- 
posing he puts me down ? " 

" He won't bolt with you, and he's never 
put anyone down in his life." 

Whereupon their eyes clashed ; and 
Lomondham, without another word, marched 
for the door. 

III. 

THE breakfast things had been cleared 
away, the car gone a good half -hour ; but 
Naomi still sat on in the dining-room, 
alone with her thoughts. ' * Vic's a brute, ' ' she 
mused; "a domineering, selfish brute. Vic 
wants all the horses for himself. Vic's 
getting tired of me. He doesn't want me 
to go out with him. He'd rather go out 
with Mrs. Monty." 

Angrily she rose and moved to the window. 
Angrily she looked out across the terracing 
downsweep of Lomondham Vale. The rain- 
clouds were lifting. Vague gleams of bright- 
ness peeped through the grey. But the 
wind had risen. Leafless branches tapped 
against the mullioned window-pane. " Rotten 
weather for hunting," thought Naomi, " and 
we never do get a run from Lornham." 
Rotten weather would be Mrs. Monty's 
opportunity. She would flirt — flirt all day 
long at covert-side with Victor. Probably 
they'd knock off early, and Vic would drive 
her home in the Rolls. 

Naomi wandered out of the dining-room 
into the hall. The Chippendale clock on the 
Tudor mantelpiece pointed to half-past ten. 
" And I've got to stop at home," she mused. 
" I've got to stop at home till he comes 
back, unless — unless I ride Mustard-Pot." 

Mustard-Pot ! How dared Victor dare 
her to ride him ! Victor couldn't be serious. 
Mustard-Pot was the hardest puller in all 
Leicestershire. Naturally, the idea of riding 
Mustard-Pot put the wind up one. Mustard- 
Pot would put the wind up anybody 
Still 

Dubiously Naomi "inspected her slim 
hands, her slim wrists. If that gigantic 
yellow gelding took it into his head to bolt, 
no woman's hands, no woman's wrists could 
hold him. Vet Victor, her own husband, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 



223 




Mustard-Pot began to fidget, rearing and plunging till it took a 

" il from 



Naomi's 

horsemanship to simmer him down, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN _,. 



ttEXik'.*-^li,TL2EJT 



Surely Victor 



224 

had actually suggested- 
mast be bluffing. This challenge to ride 
Mustard-Pot was merely Victor's way of 
ordering her not to go out. Victor was a 
brute. He wanted everybody to go his way. 
SuppDsing, though, just supposing that she 
wjre to call his bluff 

Naomi's temper rose, and her courage 
with it. Furiously she remembered Victor's 
courtship of her. Victor, by -riding that 
v^ry horse, had frightened her into confessing 
her love for him. What was the use of 
loving Victor ? Victor would rather be loved 
by Mrs. Monty. Very well, then. 

Vaguely and subconsciously Naomi 
Lomondham's mind conceived the sem- 
blance of a plan. Even as once Victor had 
frightened her into yielding to him, so now 
she would frighten Victor, frighten him away 
from hunting with other women. 

" But you may break your neck," said 
thought. 

"Oh, damn my neck!" said Victor's 
wife. 

IV. 

DRIVER, the stud-groom, watched the 
pair as they walked away down the 
drive — the boyish, almost manly figure 
completely dwarfed by the enormous yellow 
horse. " Hope to God he doesn't get 
one of his mad fits to-day ! " panicked 
Driver, turning back to his veterinary duties. 

Naomi, trotting out between the lodge- 
gates, panicked hardly at all. She was 
still in the worst temper of her existence — 
a temper of recklessness. 

Gradually, though, as her horse made the 
high road and broke to an easy canter along 
the grass at side of it, Naomi's temper 
passed. The rain had stopped, but the sky 
was darker than ever. " Mustard-Pot's on 
his best behaviour," she thought. And 
Mustard-Pot cantered on, easily as a child's 
pony, his steady hoofs pashing the shallow 
nrid-pools, his steady ears forward, and his 
eyes bright as brown stars. " I wonder if 
Romeo's out to-day," thought the yellow 
gilding, slowing to a perfect hack pace 
along the grassless macadam. 

So they came, a quarter of an hour past 
tim?, to Lovers' Clearing. Here a small 
field, some thirty all told, intimates every 
one, greeted her with gay " Good mornings " 
and, greeting, stared. 

" On, curse ! Here's Mustard-Pot," mut- 
tered the master, whom only Vic's two- 
hundred-guinea subscription prevented from 
forbidding our yellow gelding the chase. 

" Damned if I'd let my wife ride that 
brute," muttered Young Tom Cork, who 
was rising forty-five, to Old Tom Cork, who 
was just off seventy. 

" Victor's at Up-Tollatpn. The chances 
are he don't know anything about it/' 



Mustard-Pot — Huntsman 



muttered back Old Tom ; and " My 
whiskers ! What a prad ! " he went on 
muttering, as Mustard-Pot began to fidget, 
rearing and plunging till it took all Naomi's 
horsemanship to simmer him down. 

" Steady ! " muttered Naomi. " Steady, 
old thing ! " And miraculously Mustard- 
Pot steadied himself, steadied himself so 
well that, for the best part of an hour, a 
whole fruitless hour during which the in- 
visible pack, as is its habit on Lornham 
Big Wood days, bustled invisible foxes 
between ride and ride, he gave a bare 
hundred per cent, more trouble than a well- 
trained hunter should. 

" He won't bolt with me," mused the 
pleased Naomi, when, at the end of that 
hour, the disgruntled and foxless field found 
themselves back in Lovers' Clearing. " It's 
only a question of hands. Probably Victor 
hangs on to his curb too much." Mrs. 
Monty forgotten, she began to laugh at her 
forthcoming score over her husband. 

But Naomi's laughter was short-lived. 
For suddenly, startlingly, a great red dog-fox 
with a hound, a clumsy, bow-legged, badger- 
pied hound giving tongue for dear life close 
at his brush, popped across the avenue into 
covert ; and at sight of that badger-pied 
hound, Mustard-Pot, with one forty-horse- 
power buck which nearly catapulted her over 
his head, started in fighting, fighting like a 
mad mastodon, to get away. 

Followed despairing seconds when — her 
arms nearly wrenched from their sockets — 
she was aware, dimly, of Old Tom Cork's 
" Whoo-hoop " ; of Young Tom Cork's 
" Tally-ho " ; of the Master's " Give 'em a 
chance, Lady L. ; for God's sake give 'em a 
chance 1 " of twenty crazy hound-couples 
streaming by, an inch and an inch under 
Mustard-Pot's rearing hoofs ; and of Jim 
Rogers, the huntsman, his horn at his lips, 
cannonading past her up a sodden ride. 
Then, irresistibly, Mustard-Pot took charge 
of her. 

The ride was a mile of twisting danger, 
soggy with the yellow mud whereunder flat 
stones tip-tilted to the pound of the yellow 
horse's galloping shoes ; and as they rounded 
the last of its curves, Naomi, seeing Jim 
Rogers's scarlet slow to a cautious trot and 
disappear among blind alleys of branch and 
bracken, thought, " I'm done for. I'm done 
for if I can't stop him." 

She sat tight, hoping for the best, expecting 
the worst. But Mustard-Pot, when he came 
to those blind alleys, dug both forefeet into 
the ground and stopped of his own accord — 
stopped dead as mutton — stopped and stood, 
his cocked ears listening, listening as oniy 
a horse can, to the twanging horn and 
the crash of hound-voices. Those voices, 
Mustard-Pot knew, were circling, circling 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 



125 



dubious, here and there among the un- 
gallopable woods. If only he could hear 
Romeo, his friend Romeo who had found the 
fox! 

Naomi, too, was listening, listening as well 
as humans can, to that music. She tried to 
get some hint of which way the quarry might 
break ; but the music dwindled, dwindled 
away and away. Looking over her shoulder 
she caught a glimpse of the field. " Back," 
they signalled, "back"; and as, turning 
their horses, they pelted off, Naomi heard 
the pack. The pack, once more in full cry, 
were making for the south corner of the wood. 
She tried to turn Mustard-Pot .... 

But the yellow horse would not turn. He 
answered neither to rein nor to leg. His ears 
went back to the backing reins. She tried 
to coax him with her voice. " Come along," 
she coaxed. " Come along, Mustard-Pot, 
old boy." 

Useless ! She might as well have tried 
to coax Victor. Victor-like, Mustard-Pot 
refused to budge. Still he stood ; still as a 
j*ock, still as the tree-trunks whose branches 
moaned in the wind above her head. Only 
his ears moved — cocking, flattening, twitch- 
ing. Fruitlessly she tugged at the near 
curb. Fruitlessly she drove her off heel 
into his flanks. That Mustard-Pot of all 
horses should jib, frightened her — frightened 
her more than any bolting. She felt power- 
less, ridden rather than rider. 

Southward, farther and farther went the 
music. Presently it died — died to an utter 
silence through which she guessed rather than 
heard the faint " View-holla " of the First 
Whip, the faint " Gone away " of Jim Rogers's 
horn. All the while, do what she would, 
Mustard-Pot refused to budge. " Damn ! 
Oh, damn ! " she thought. " It's a run — 
and I'm out of it." Then lifting her whip 
to cut Mustard -Pot on the shoulder, she knew 
a great amazement. 

One hound, one solitary hound, was still 
hunting in covert. Weirdly she heard him 
giving tongue. Mustard-Pot's ears twitched 
and twitched. Closer the hound drew, and 
closer. Mustard-Pot's muscles flexed to taut 
steel. His whole body quivered between her 
thighs. She thought, " I wonder if Mustard- 
Pot heard him before I did. I wonder if 
that was why he jibbed." 

Simultaneously, horse and rider saw the 
hound. Bow-legged and badger-pied, still 
throwing his tongue as though all the pack 
were at his heels, he came leaping among the 
bracken. Naomi recognized him for the puppy 
Sam Slooman h^d walked last year. She 
could see that he was hunting a line of his 
own. It flashed through her mind, " There 
must have been two foxes. He's still on the 
first one." Instinctively she called to him. 
" Yoi-doit, yoi-doit, Romeo, old man." 

Vol. lxiv.-15. C 



For a moment the hound looked up frcm 
his work and his note changed. It was as 
though he no longer spoke his fox ; almost 
as though he were speaking in some strange 
language to the cocked ears of Mustard-Pot. 
Then his nose dropped to ground and he 
went mute, mute as the bracken. Then 
suddenly he began feathering. Then he gave 
a whimper — a second whimper. Then, still 
puzzling his line, he loped away from her 
between the trees. 

AND now Mustard-Pot jibbed no longer. 
Slowly, picking his every pace through 
the undergrowth, he began to follow 
Romeo. Mysteriously Naomi was conscious 
of a link, of a definite link between horse 
and hound. Mysteriously she knew herself 
powerless to break that link ; powerless to do 
anything save sit still. The hound quickened, 
and Mustard-Pot with him. Presently Rcmeo 
approached the north edge of the wood. 
Soon, between the tree-boles, Naomi could 
see the rotten boundary-fence, and beyond 
the fence, green fields empty under grey 
skies. Once more she called to the hound, 
" Yoi-doit, then, yoi-doit, Romeo." Once 
more the hound looked up. Once more she 
heard that eerie cry of his. Then, not 
dubiously, but full-throated for blood, he 
threw tongue again and scrambling through 
the boundary-fence went away like blazes. 

Naomi had no time to think, no time to 
take Mustard-Pot between her knees. Un- 
asked, unsteered, the great horse sprang to a 
canter and hurtled at his fence. She heard 
the top rail crack as they went over, heard 
Romeo's music fifty yards ahead. Mustard- 
Pot began to gallop. Galloping, she thought, 
" This is a dream, a dream. This is the sort 
of thing that couldn't happen." She Icoked 
forward at Romeo. Romeo was on a breast- 
high scent, going like the wind over ground 
flat as a billiard-table. Romeo was gaining 
on Mustard-Pot. Gaining and gaining. He 
came to his second fence, naked timber ; and 
went through it like a streak of pied lightning. 

Naomi felt Mustard-Pot stride to speed ; 
felt him balance himself, felt him lift under 
her as they cleared. Landing, she knew 
herself still powerless. Between her and the 
horse was no link, no understanding. His 
thoughts were not with his rider. His 
thoughts were with the hound, with the one 
solitary hound ahead. Once more she 
thought, M This is a dream, a marvellous, 
impossible dream." 

Yet what a dream ! Exhilaration took 
her by the throat. She whooped as she rode. 
The great horse quickened and quickened. 
But the scent was still breast-high ; and 
still Romeo gained on him. Four fields 
flashed by. Four rails flashed under. To 
Naomi the whok countryside seemed empty, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



226 



Mustard-Pot — Huntsman 



empty as some green desert through which 
she and Mustard-Pot and Romeo and that 
invisible prey whose flight drew all three of 
them tore like beings possessed. 

Came uglier fences — thorned raspers whose 
ditches were death-traps. They slowed 
Romeo, but Mustard-Pot they could not 
slow. His great hocks drove him — drove 
him yards and yards beyond the death-traps. 
Presently he began to gain. Presently 
horse and hound were almost level. Mustard- 
Pot of his own accord drew wide a little, 
easing the pace. Ahead, blurred against its 
crest of meadow-land, Naomi saw Cobb's 
Gorse. She realized for the first time that it 
was raining, a cold rain which stung the 
cheeks and blinded the eyes. She thought, 
" Scent'U fail." 

But scent did not fail. Straight it led 
and straight, up the slope, to the Gorse. 
Mustard-Pot drew level at last. Side by 
side, horse and hound raced for the crest. 



V. 

THE ways of a woman, the ways of a horse, 
the ways of a hound — of these man may 
know a little. But no man knows the 
ways of Reynard in his March-madness. Per- 
chance there was a vixen in Cobb's Gorse, 
some old flame with whom Romeo's quarry 
tarried flirtatious a while. Perchance he did 
not find the earths to his liking. Perchance 
he scorned pursuit by one solitary hound, one 
solitary horsewoman. Who shall say ? Re- 
mains as fact only that he waited — waited 
till Romeo, leaping red -eyed to the fresh 
taint, jumped almost atop of him at the far 
edge of Cobb's Gorse ; so that it seemed no 
miracle of speed, no miracle of cunning, could 
save his brush. 

Yet that dog-fox saved it — saved it by 
fractions of inches, eeling between ridge and 
furrow as he raced for the north ! 

Of the three, only Naomi saw him racing. 
For Mustard-Pot's eyes were on Romeo ; 
and after that one glimpse, Romeo's eyes, as 
Romeo's nose, were on the ground. Away 
he went and away ; stern straight, hackles 
up ; across ridge-and-furrow that rolled like 
the sea ; under double-oxers, under sinyle 
rails ; over blackthorn and through horn- 
beam.; across ploughlands and across road- 
ways ; past rare cottages from whose wash- 
tubs hoof-deafened women looked up to see 
a vast saffron steed, foam-flecked and sweat- 
sodden, striding as never steed strode yet in 
pursuit of his hareing friend. " Ti§ Badger- 
pie ! " thought the women. " Badger-pie 
and Butter-pat. Butter-pat's bolting again 
— bolting with Sir Victor's wife." 

But Naomi knew that Mustard-Pot was 
not bolting blindly. Naomi knew that she 
was safe — safe as any horsewoman might 



by VjOO' 



be across a country — unless sheer fatigue 
dropped her from the saddle. 

That first fine exhilaration had long since 
passed, and her brain, one tense concentra- 
tion on the ground ahead, was busy with 
topography. Already they were six good 
miles from Lornham Big Wood. Already 
the flat lands lay behind them and the up- 
lands in front. Still the dog-fox held on — 
held on for his point. He had gained, 
gained a full three fields on his loud pursuer. 
But his pursuer, the dog-fox knew, was still 
linked to him, linked by the taint in the air 
and the taint on the ground, and the lust for 
his blood. 

He swerved down-wind to the west — 
swerved for Saxenham Parva over a rain- 
channelled ridge-and-furrow where even 
Romeo's nose could scarcely hold the line. 

VI. 

NAOMI, watching Romeo as Mustard- 
Pot's slowing hoofs spurted the rain- 
channels to yellow fountains, could see 
that the hound was at a loss. Almost she 
felt glad. Her knees were cold lead under 
the wet buckskin. Her thighs ached. Her 
mouth, despite the beat of the rain, was a 
parched torment. She could feel the sweat 
pouring down between her breasts, between 
her shoulder - blades. A mile to the west, 
she knew red roofs under leafless trees for 
Saxenham Parva. There was an inn at 
Saxenham Parva. She needed that inn — 
needed it desperately in her weariness. 

But Mustard-Pot was still unwearied, 
though the breath steamed from his nostrils, 
and his yellow ears were caked brown with 
sweat and the thorn-pricks had bloodied his 
belly. Tireless, he jig-jogged in the wake of 
the hound. The hound refused to own de- 
feat. Nose to ground, he tried each splashing 
furrow. Nose to ground, he tried each 
sodden ridge. 

" Shall I whip him off ? " thought the 
weary Naomi. Somehow she could not whip 
him off. The tie between fox and hound had 
snapped ; but the link between horse and 
hound still held. Now she too was linked 
with them. She could feel a Power gripping 
her — gripping her like a man's arms round 
the waist. Then, once, twice, and again, 
Romeo feathered. Then, finding his line, 
he gave tongue and went off — slowly — slowly 
along the ridge at fence-side — through an 
open gateway — and down wind past Saxen- 
ham Parva towards Middleton-on-the-Hill. 

Breasting that hill, the trail turned up- 
wind again ; so that the first snow-scurry 
caught Naomi full in the face. The driven 
flakes blinded her, blinded Mustard-Pot ; 
but Romeo they could not blind. Romeo's 
nostrils stiJl whiffed his quarry. His quarry 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 



12 1 



had veered again, veered left-handed down 
the slope. 

The snow -scurry blew clear ; and the rain 

with it. Wiping her eyes, Naomi saw the 

wooded swells and grassy falls of High 

Leicestershire spread out map-like below, 

1 Up-Tollaton Thorns/" she thought, as 




dying scent. Behind them, Middleton Hill 
rose high and higher, blocking out the 
known country. 4t Up-Tollaton Thorns/' she 
thought again, ** Seven good miles if it's 
an inch. And I hardly know a fence of it." 
Then Romeo checked dead at a water-logged 
bridle- path, and she forgot Victor, forgot 
Mrs. Monty, forgot everything in the world, 
even her own weariness, in sheer love of the 
greatest game in the world. 

Mutely the hound owned defeat. Mutely 

he looked up at her. It seemed as 

though his eyes begged help. Even 

Mustard- Pot appeared conscious 

that now only a human brain 

could assist. His self-will had 

gone out of him. She felt 

him at last in hand — the 

inferior creature subject to 

her sovran will. 

Automatically— hon e 
and hound answering 
her every signal — 
Naomi began to cast 
for her fox. Right- 
handed down the 
slope she cast, and 
left-handed among 
t he sparse gorse 
bushes; forward 
along the bridle- 
path; finally—her 
inexperience in 
despair — 
backwards 
up the 
hill. But 



Naomi could see 
lhat the hound was 
at a loss. Nose to 
ground , he tried each 
splashing furrow. 



Romeo swerved on the hillside. 
Totlaton Thorns will be his point/' 

And at that thought/ for one fleeting 
second, she remembered her husband. Some- 
where among those wooded swells and grassy 
falls her husband and another woman rode 
side by side. The thought stung her + Con- 
vulsively her wet knees gripped the wet 
saddle-flaps as Mustard -Pot went skating for 
the valley. 

Ahead of them, Romeo hunted mute on a 

Digitized by Lt* 






the snow-chiiled ground gave Rcmeo never a 
whiff of fox. 

Utterly baffled, Naomi drew rein. Utterly 
despairing, she looked down along the bridle- 
path, across the gate at the end of the 
bridle-path, over the roadway and tip the 
ant -he aped ground beyond. "Not a sign 
of him. You've had rotten luck, Romeo, 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



228 



Mustard- Pot — Huntsman 



old boy ; you deserved your kill," she said 
to the beaten hound. 

The hot fury of the chase was out of her, 
and the hot temper of early morning with 
it. Cold shook her as she sat. A deadly 
depression nagged at her mind. She had 
lost her fox — she had lost Victor — she had 
lost everything that made life worth while. 
Leg-weary, arm-weary, and love-weary, she 
made to turn Mustard-Pot for home. 

And then, without warning, there happened 
the greatest miracle of all that miraculous 
day. For suddenly, strangely, stupefyingly, 
M ustard-Pot — his great head lifted, his great 
eyes staring, and his great ears flatter than 
pancakes — began to whinny, as Naomi had 
never heard horse whinny before, to rider 
on his back and to hound at his heels. 
" Look ! Look ! Look ! " whinnied Mustard- 
Pot, watching the slope, where a speck, a 
far and a fox-shaped speck, fled zigzagging 
between the ant-heaps. 

Naomi, flung hard against the saddle-peak, 
never saw that speck, never realized the 
miracle. As the rested Mustard-Pot, whinny- 
ing no longer, sprang to full gallop, Fear, the 
fear of things uncontrollable — that fear which 
had turned even Victor's bowels to water — 
entered into her. Hardly her knees found 
their grip again ; hardly she knew Mustard- 
Pot heading for the gate ; hardly she knew 
Romeo following. Speed and panic blinded 
her every faculty. She could only cling, 
cling in desperation, to the rain-slippery 
saddle. 

They came to the gate, to the roadway. 
Over the gate, over the roadway, flashed 
Mustard-Pot, Through the gate, over the 
roadway, flashed the badger-pied hound. 
For Romeo had understood, dimly, his 
friend's whinnying. He and his friend were 
one mind, one body now — canine nose and 
equine eye each helping each as the need 
arose. Who cared for humans ? Up hill, 
missing the ant-hills with every instinctive 
stride, bounded the trusty Mustard-Pot. 
Up hill, close at Mustard-Pot's heels, bounded 
the trusting Romeo. 

Yet still Naomi could not realize the truth. 
Even when Mustaril-Pot, halting a second 
among those ant-hills, whinnied for the last 
time, and Romeo, nose to ground, answered 
his whinny with one full-throated burst of 
blood -mad music, she failed to understand. 
Fear paralyzed her every thought ; so that 
the next four miles were madness — a mad- 
ness of swished blackthorn and rapped 
timber ; a madness of scurrying fields that 
vanished, as landscapes vanish from train 
windows, under Mustard-Pot's terrible hoof- 
ings ; a madness of hills up-galloped and 
down-galloped ; a madness of wind-whistle 
and rain-drizzle and snow-scurry ; of shout- 
ing wood-cutters and pointing cyclists and 

O 



dumbfoundered carters glimpsed sideways as 
one leaped from turf to road. 

But always through her madness Naomi 
heard hound-music ; and always, even in 
her madness, she knew that neither horse 
nor hound, neither fox nor rider, could hold 
that pace across the cut-and-laids of Tollaton 
Vale. 

VII. 

ROTTEN, isn't it ? " murmured Mrs. 
Monty Perivale to Sir Victor Lomond- 
ham, Bart. " Why didn't you take 
my advice and kncck ofl at the cross-roads ? " 

" We may find at the Thorns." Sir Victor 
scowled through the rain-drizzle at the jig- 
jogging pack. Mrs. Monty had headed the 
only fox of the day — and he was hating her 
pretty vigorously. 

" What's the good of finding at this time 
in the afternoon ? " she retorted — thinking 
of Sir Victor's Rolls-Royce. 

They jig-jogged on up Little Tollaton Hill. 
Behind them trotted the last remnants of a 
disappointed field. Ahead of them, the 
Lady Master and her huntsman whispered 
in consultation. " I'd take 'em by Mad- 
man's Lane if I were you, Hatcher," said 
the Lady Master. " Farmer Luffenhatn 
told me there's an outlier in one of his 
fields." 

The First Whip knocked a gate open, and 
Masterful, Hatcher's grey, the pack at his 
heels, squelched heavily down the lane. 

"Might just as well have gone home," 
grumbled Hatcher, looking about him over 
the low hedges. On his right plough lands 
stretched stickily to the tree-hidden spire 
of Up-Tollaton Church. Two miles ahead of 
him, down a dip and up again, Tollaton 
Thorns showed black and ragged on the 
fence-barred slope. Towards the Thorns, half 
in view and half crest-hidden, serpentined 
the green of Tollaton Vale. 

" Funny," thought Hatcher. " I'd swear 
I heard a hound." He drew rein, and the 
pack halted at his grey's heels. He clapped 
a hand to his ear. He listened. " Queer ! " 
he muttered under his breath. ** Deuced 
queer ! Must have been a cur-dog. Can't 
have been a hound. No meet within twenty 
miles of us." 

He took his hand from his ear and squelched 
on. What the devil was the matter with 
Masterful ? Had Masterful, too, heard that 
uncanny cur-dog ? Hatcher halted again : 
and halting eyed the Vale. Waiting his will, 
the bitch-pack quivered round Masterfui's 
heels. 

" Why don't he go on ? " groused Sir 
Victor to Mrs. Monty ; and even as he 
spoke, Hatcher stood up in his stirrups, and 
with one terrific " View holla ! " capped his 
pack down the lane?, out of the lane and 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Gilbert Frankau 



229 




Jump or die/ 1 she thought as she rode. Somehow, she and Mustard-Pot must 

struggle over this last obstacle. 

nofU^gltr UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



23° 



Mustard- Pot — Huntsman 



fu)l-spiit for the Thorns. After him went the 
field, and, first of the field, Victor. 

Victor had forgotten Mrs. Mcnty. He 
could hardly believe, as he took his roan 
between his calves and lifted him out of 
the lane, that his eyes had told him the 
truth ; that he had really seen a fox with 
one solitary hound at his brush and one 
solitary rider bucketing to catch up with tht m 
emerge from the green of the Vale and toil 
desperately up the slope towards the Thorns. 

Yet there they went, fox and hound and 
horseman, barely two hundred yards in 
front ; and there, on his right, hareing 
diagonally up the fence-barred slope to cut 
them off from the Thorns, went Hatcher 
with twenty couples streaming to his cap. 
The fox was dead-beat. His brush draggled 
the ground. Hardly he crawled through the 
last of his fences ; hardly he held on up the 
slope. 

And now Hatcher's horn twanged ; and 
now Hatcher's pack, streaming into view 
over that ultimate blackthorn, burst to 
fiercest music ; and now Romeo summoned 
his last ounce of strength lest these upstart 
bitches rob him of blood ; and now, suddenly, 
Victor recognized the solitary rider for his 
wife, the solitary horse for Mustard-Pot ; 
and now, recognizing Mustard-Pot at the 
last gasp and his wife's face death-white 
with fatigue, the heart under Victor's scarlet 
grew cold with fear at thought of the ditch 
beyond the blackthorn — the ditch which 
even freshest horse might fail to clear. 

BUT Naomi, riding that desperate finish, 
never recognized Victor. Her mind — all 
that fatigue had left her of it — was con- 
centrated on Mustard-Pot's fencing. Some- 
how, she and Mustard-Pot, each aiding each, 
had struggled through Tollaton Vale. Some- 
how, they must struggle over this last 
obstacle. Somehow, not this new pack 
which had sprung suddenly from nowhere, 
not this fresh huntsman, but weary she and 
weary Mustard-Pot and weary Romeo must 
kill the fox they had run through half a 
county. " Jump or die," she thougl t as she 
rode. " Jump or die," she muttered as the 
giant gelding, wise to his roan stable- 
companion racing diagonally to be level with 
him, gathered hocks under belly for the 
spring. 

She felt that gigantic fore-hand lift 
between her aching thighs ; glimpsed black- 
thorn undtr her boots ; felt rather than saw 
the unexpected ditch ; felt Mustard-Pot 
double-jump in mid-air to carry it ; realized, 
even before the stirrups flew up from her 
toes, that he had just failed ; felt her hat 
crumple to the smash of the ground — and 
waited, waited endlessly in gathering dark- 



ness, waited paralysed all through that 
century of a second which would teD her 
whether or no she had fallen clear. 

7T" * ONS after that century-long second, 
/ T Naomi Lomondham rolled over on 
her left elbow and opened her eyes. 
The world had gone queer. She saw it 
double through the blur of concussion and 
fatigue ; saw two Victors wxenching two 
roans to their haunches ; saw two Mustard- 
Pots staggering to their feet ; saw — strangest 
sight of Jill — a brace of badger-pied hounds 
pull a brace of foxes over in the open. 
Then a thousand black-and-tan couples 
smothered badger-pies and foxes, and she 
heard herself say faintly through the renew- 
ing smother, " Hallo, Victor ! I thought 
you were with Mrs. Monty." 

" Thank God she's safe ; but what the 
hell's she talking about ? " thought Sir 
Victor Lomondham, Bart., who was inclined 
to be coarse when under strong emotion. 



r np 



by LiOOgle 



VIII. 
\ALL ? " protested Mustard-Pot, when I 
went to him for confirmation of the 
tale. "Tall? I don't call that a tall 
story. Why, one of Romeo's great-great- 
great-grandfathers " 

" You mean Rambler ? " I interpolated. 

" Of course I mean Rambler." Mustard- 
Pot stamped his off-fore on the stable-tiles. 
" Didn't Rambler once hunt a fox on his own 
— twenty miles without even a horse to 
help him — and kill at ten o'clock o'night ? " 

" Admitted," said I. " But what about 
your viewing the fox ? No human will 
believe that, you know." 

" More fco's humans ! " The yellow horse 
laid his ears back and snapped at Silver 
Glory through the bars of the loose-box. 
" You ought to know that that's perfectly 
possible." 

" I ? " 

" Yes. You. Didn't that big screw of 
yours ? " 

I protested at this unkind reference to my 
one poor animal, but Mustard-Pot, who has 
twice in his own varied career fetched as low 
as a ten-pound note, went on scornfully. 

" Screw ! Of course Ladybird's a screw. 
What can you expect at that price ? Still, 
she hunted a fox once. On her own. Don't 
you remember ? You were hacking across 
those fields from Little Overdine station and 
Charlie popped out just in front of you. 
Now, I ask you, did Ladybird follow that 
fox on her own or didn't she ? " 

Whereupon I broke off the argument and 
went thoughtful to tea with Naomi. 

" Victor can't bear the Peri vale woman/' 
she confided, pouring it for me, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



231 



WHENX EQUALS 
'MAUD' 



HERBERT SHAW 



BALLIOL SALMON 



THE discovery was too sudden, too 
brutal. It seemed to the pretty 
young wife of the Reverend Leonard 
Miles that her life and the lives of 
the two children had slammed at full speed 
into an unexpected terminus. And she was 
bending over the wreckage. Very quickly 
other thoughts came, not one at a time, so 
that she could deal with them with her usual 
unhurried clearness, but jumping unfairly at 
her hand-in-hand + The persisting thought, 
for quite a while, was that this cheque she 
had found among the littered papers of the 
writing- table was the first real secret she had 
ever had from Leonard. 

It was the secret itself, in picture form. 
Constance Miles had imagination, besides a 
cheery courage, which expressed itself in 
wonderfully efficient handling, both of her 
unpractical dreamer-husband and of the 
work necessitated by one maid, two children, 
a quite inadequate number of hundreds a 
year, and her position as a clergyman's wife. 
Quite gaily, Constance Miles made every 
week an adventure in economy ; there were 
few weeks in which she could not honestly 
claim a victory over the bogey of expenditure. 

She didn't know why she was still staring 
at the cheque. Ft looked oddly blurred. 
Even for Leonard's familiar, careless writing 
the letters were more waggly than usual, 
#+ Pay Maud Scrutton twenty -four pounds. 
Leonard Miles." 

Suddenly Constance was violently afraid 
of the wretched thing. She thrust it far 
under the heaped papers, almost at the 
bottom, and some of the papers above it 
slithered down and disclosed Leonard's 
cheque -hook. Sixty seconds of absorbed 
and half-guilty accountancy disclosed three 
or four counterfoils that were equal calamities 
with that astounding cheque. 



Constance Miles reburied her discoveries. 
She sat upright, stared thoughtfully at 
nothing for a little while, and then laughed. 

" Poor old Leonard ! " she said, " Fancy 
coming in for my cheque and finding 
this ! " 

All the unmarried philosophers tell you 
wisely that married life is merely a succession 
of discoveries, big and small. The clever 
fellows leave it at that. They provide no 
useful text-book to tell wives what to do 
when the crisis comes. Should they scream 
or sit tight ? Ask cunning, trap-like ques- 
tions or keep darkling silence ? Should 
they shut themselves up in resentful gloom 
or cynically sparkle ? Job or George Graves 
— under which banner ? In short, should 
they act or think ? 

It depends on the sort of husband, the 
sort of wife, and the sort they visualize 
Maud as being. But there is one unchange- 
able rule in these affairs. In the first un- 
pleasant shock of discovery Everywoman 
feels rather as if she had forgotten to put on 
her blouse that morning. Looking down to 
reassure herself that this is not so, making 
certain at the same time that her hair is 
not falling down, she resolves, sensibly but 
fiercely, never to tell anybody. 

Do you think that's wise of them ? 

Anyway, Constance Miles got as far as 
that. Then she obeyed an impulse, almost 
as unalterable as that other rule of Everv- 
woman J s, when she got up and looked at 
herself in the oval mirror above the mantel- 
piece. 

She wondered vaguely, not without a 
faint amusement, rather like making up a 
story — exciting; to invent the ends 

Where was Maud ? Not here in Cedars- 
wood, that select and attractive suburb. 
Leonard ■Sak] i ipd^ffem and above gossip, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



232 



When X Equals Maud 



careless and impetuous, but he would never 
have risked the wagging of tongues in 
Cedars wood. 

In London, where you can hide any knots 
that time makes in marriage ribbons ? 
Farther, in the North, where Leonard went 
sometimes to see his people ? What was 
the name of that girl in saxe blue who was 
so friendly with me that week Leonard and 
I stayed at the Avalon in Brighton ? 

She could not remember the name, but 
she was certain that one wasn't Maud. 
Mauds into saxe blue don't go. They're 
more likely to be rather yellowy persons, on 
the big side, in black charmeuse, with a 
strong dash of diamond rings. Or so Maud 
came to life, vaguely, behind the intent 
Everywoman that faced Constance from the 
mirror. 

" Find Maud," commanded Everywoman. 
" But how do you start ? " asked Constance, 
both in silence. And both of them, gazing 
fixedly at each other, pressed hard with four 
forefingers just where the lines come that 
matter most and worst. From the inner 
corners of four eyes, steadily along the top 
of their cheekbones. They smiled in friendly 
reassurance. Not even a baby crow had 
dared to alight there. Maud, shadow some- 
where out in the unknown, no matter what 
you are like, you will never be able to better 
the lustrous hair, the challenging eyes, the 
bright mouths of these two earnest students 
of the situation your sudden appearance — 
by proxy of one cheque and four counter- 
foils — has created. 

The steady eyes of Constance Miles sig- 
nalled a confident " Well, I'm all right ! " to 
her close friend in the mirror. There wasn't 
a dissentient vote. But there was an inter- 
ruption. The front door of the house was 
opened, and slammed. Thus, habitually, 
Leonard entered. 

Constance allowed herself just one more 
(look out, Maud !) glance of completely satis- 
fied appraisal. Then she ran out of Leonard's 
study, rounded the second flight of stairs 
with the silence and speed of a Rolls on top 
gear, gained her own room, and, still without 
any noise, shut the door. 

From the top of the first flight Leonard 
called out " Constance ! " waited, called 
again. No answer. Cicely, the maid, ap- 
pearing suddenly with broom and acces- 
sories, looked at him in her slow way. It 
was her second appearance in the passage. 
She had pushed her nose and her broom 
slightly into the passage a moment before, 
and had only just missed being overturned 
by the whirlwind retreat of Constance. 
Cicely, a romanticist, noticed things. She 
said, lying but truthful : — 

" Mrs. Miles is very busy in her room, sir." 

" Oh," said Leonard. '* I say, if you find 

Digitized by dOOglC 



the Times knocking about, bring it up, will 
you ? " 

He withdrew into his study. He sat 
down, ran his fingers over his unbusiness- 
like hair, looked worried, thought with 
disgust of his golf handicap and the childish 
way he had played last Saturday, tried the 
telephone for the second time that morning 
and again found it woodenly dumb, pushed 
aside the heap of papers, dashed at the ink- 
stand, and began to write letters. Leonard 
always dashed at things. He didn't like 
letter-writing — especially this morning. He 
groaned, and told the untidy little study 
about it. 

11 This won't do," he declared, and his 
tone was unresigned but hopeless. " It's 
got to stop." 

He wrote on. 

In spotless bedroom, in untidy study 
where brooms are rarely allowed to enter, 
the opposing forces are entrenched. For 
the moment the front lines of both are 
quiet. It looks like rain, if not worse. The 
story is simple, mathematical. Illustration 
follows : — 

LEONARD AND CONSTANCE. 



In plain words, Leonard and Constance 
are divided by Maud, and X is Maud ; but 
though we know that, it gets us no farther. 
You do not know Maud. Before long you 
shall. You are quite right about one thing. 
She is not a nice person. 

THE doors of the study opened. The 
hunched shoulders of Leonard — 
Leonard busily writing — looked as 
though he would grunt when he said any- 
thing next. He did. He grunted : — 

" Put it down anywhere ! " 

" What ? " 

" The Times, of course. Couldn't you 
find it ? " 

Leonard popped the sealed envelope safely 
into the heap, felt a draught, turned, and 
saw Constance instead of Cicely. He slewed 
round. 

" I beg your pardon, old girl. I thought 
it was Cicely with the paper. I sit on it all 
through breakfast. I can't make out why 
I always lose it directly I get up. Can 
you ? " 

Constance advanced into the room — 
metaphorically, into the centre of the ring. 
The opening was there. She sparred for 
another. 

" There are lots of things I can't make 
out," she remarked, gloomily. 

The attempt at another opening flopped. 
Leonard did not notice her gloom, her 
seriousness. 

" I should, j Mff | Ipfpfjfc are," he agreed, 

♦ UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



Herbert Shaw 



233 



brightly. "There's 
this wretched tele- 
phone still out of 
order. I write to tell 
Hum about it. Do 
they come ? No. Sit 
down, Connie, What's 
that you've got in 
your hand ? " 

" It's the list of the 
things the child- 
ren \vant at school 
— the things they 
must have. Two 
new serge frocks, 
and more shoes* 
And Nancy must 
have a new coat. 




Leonard popped 
the sealed enve- 
lope safety into 
the heap, tamed, 
and »w Con- 
stance instead of 
Cicely* He 
slewed round. 



The one Babs has 
will have to do for 
the present/' 

Leonard be- 
came thoughtful, 

M I think I can 
get everything 
for fifteen pounds ; I've made out a list. 
You said you would Jet me have a cheque/' 

Leonard fumbled. He was awfully nice 
and he was awfully sorry t but he had for- 
gotten. He admitted being a confirmed 
forgetter. But just now he had run very 



\ 



short* Didn't want to write another cheque 
if he could possibly help it. There were lots 
of things — vaguely. How about next 
month ? The children must have the frocks, 
of course. +i For the cheque, 1 mean ? " 

It was a facer* Constance retreated to the 
ropes. This refusal of the promised shop- 
ping ch^flu% D w^..s^un^p^cJ:ed- It made 



234 



When X Equals Maud 



the secret jump up blackly, and it made her 
lose courage. " Pay Maud Scrutton twenty- 
four pounds." She felt hot and angry. The 
silence and Leonard were both uncom- 
fortable. 

" We always pay at once for things, 
Leonard," she objected at last. 

" I know we do. But just for once 

Get them somewhere else. You needn't go 
to London for them this time, even if you do 
have to pay a few shillings more. Get them 
at Bird's. I've seen some very nice kiddies' 
things in Bird's windows." 

" All right," said Constance. She got up. 
Leonard had the air of hoping she wasn't 
going to slay in the room another minute. 
Then a determined Klaxon bellowed outside, 
and Leonard came to life. He jumped up. 

" I knew there was something I had to tell 
you ! " he exclaimed, reproachfully. " That's 
Kentish. He's come for you, Connie." 

" George Kentish ! " 

" There's his car. He wrote this morning, 
and I slipped out to telephone him. He's not 
going into town to-day, and he said he'd 
come down for you and drive you back to 
the Court." 

" Why ever didn't you tell me ? " 

" I forgot. But, anyway, it's all right, 
Connie. 1 don't know what we'd do without 
Kentish in Cedarswood. Directly any fine 
weather comes along you can have the 
grounds of the Court for your bazaar. He 
thought you'd like to look over the place and 
make all your arrangements in good time. 
Anything you want, he said." 

The door opened as though a storm had 
taken command, and 
entered looked first at 
at her husband before 
from his lips. 

" Good morning, Mrs. Constance. How 
do you do, Leonard ? He's quite right, Mrs. 
Constance. Anything you want, I told him 
— you can have all the downstairs rooms of 
the Court if they're necessary. And all the 
llowers the gardeners can get together. You 
and I are going to make this bazaar go. Eh ? 
We'll have them talking ! " 

The rich bachelor who lived at the Court 
radiated the cheerfulness, self-reliance, and 
prosperity of the business man to whom 
increasing success. The 
had in Cedarswood, he 
house in the place, the 
greatest number of ser- 
vants. Constance's eyes sparkled. 

"You're always helping us, Mr. Kentish ! 
It's tremendously good of you. It was 
unfair of me to ask you again." 

" Nonsense ! " His big, jolly face was all 
smiles. " A lonely old man like myself 
wants every chance he can get of doing a bit 
for charity. I'm going to ask Leonard if he 

Digitized by GoO^lC 



the big man who 
Constance and then 
he took the Corona 



every day brings 

best friend they 

owned the largest 

lordliest cars, the 



can spare you foi the day. I'm ready when 
ever you are, Mrs. Constance." 

" I won't be five minutes." Constance 
hurried from the room. George Kentish 
made Leonard take a cigar, and asked if he 
might use the telephone. 

" It's out of order," Leonard apologized. 

" May I use your window, then ? " said 
Kentish. Pushing up the window, he leaned 
out and called to the blue-uniformed chauf- 
feur in the huge blue Daimler. The man 
looked up. 

" Swish back and tell them Mrs. Miles will 
be 3tayijig for lunch. And then come back 
here just as soon as you can." 

Shutting the window, he looked at Leonard. 
" Three times five minutes, of course," he 
said, sounding his cheery laugh. " I know 
them. He'll be back in plenty of time. 
How are things with you ? " 

" Fine, thanks," said Leonard, in a rainy 
voice, and his visitor looked at him again — 
thoughtfully. " I say, Kentish, it's awfully 
good of you to let us have the Court. Connie 
is very keen on making a success of that 
show." 

" Now, then," warned Kentish. " No 
thanks, if you please. She'll make a success 
of it all right ; your wife's a wonderful 
woman, Miles." 

" She's the best in the world," Leonard 
asserted, very warmly. 



T 



'HANK you, it had been really perfect — 
a lovely day. She had enjoyed herself 
veiy, very much. Almost a brushing 
shadow of regret, of envy, to tarnish her 
honest and sincere gratitude. No trouble or 
annoyance even seemed able to come near this 
big house with its moneyed easiness of life, 
this big, comfortable, smiling man, with his 
kindly thoughts and his shrewd, intelligent 
eyes. 

"I'm very glad you enjoyed it/' George 
Kentish said. 

As Constance watched for the lights of the 
Daimler to appear she realized for the first 
time that the day had been like an hour of 
release. 

She had almost been able to forget her 
discovery of the morning. She must now go 
back to it. 

Constance Miles 's little sigh was uncon- 
scious. The man sitting near to her on the 
wide, soft window-seat moved his position. 

" What's the matter between you and 
Leonard ? " asked big George Kentish, 
bluntly. " What's wrong ? " 

He was suddenly very grim. His eyes 
and his mouth were very hard. Any inUlli- 
gent man who had seen George Kentish 
just now would have suffered a shock. 
Would have placed this big, cheery fellow 
as a ruthless thruster towards his own 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Herbert Shaw 



255 



purposes ; would have wondered whether the 
breezy kindliness of George Kentish might 
not be a mask for cunning. But Constance 
did not look at him. She felt too frightened. 
She exclaimed, with incredulous awe : — 

" Mr Kentish ! You know ! " 

He shook his head. " I don't know what 
the matter is. But I know very well there's 
something the matter. You're worried to 
death. I didn't want second sight to spot 
that the moment I saw you and Leonard 
this morning." 

" Leonard's worried," she said, lamely. 
On the drive wheels grated to a standstill 
before the house. Constance got up un- 
steadily. " I'll go and get my things on, I 
think, Mr Kentish. There's the car." 

" Just as you like, Mrs. Constance." 

HER host's voice was quite ordinary. He 
stood before her now, astonishingly 
solid against the darkness of the great 
room. And Constance did not quite finish 
standing up. She seemed to tumble back 
upon the wide seat, beaten. Beaten — by her- 
self. That was what made it humiliating. 
She knew now that she was just like any 
ordinary wife. The gay spirit with which she 
had confronted that morning's revelation was 
all pretence. It wouldn't hold. She had 
dared to think that she could keep that 
secret hidden, could remain undisturbed, 
confident — willing to watch Leonard. The 
beastliness of watching Leonard 

Did she really know Leonard ? Constance 
shrugged her shoulders. At least, she knew 
the best of Leonard too well to wish to watch 
him. 

" We'll have a little light," said Kentish, 
turning in the darkness. The softest light 
came from a ceiling bowl, the blinds came 
down at a touch. " Take it easy, Mrs. 
Constance. How do you feel ? If you're 
in a hurry you've only to say so." 

"I'd rather wait a little while, if you 
don't mind." 

" Of course you would. Don't disturb 
yourself now ; I can get those curtains 
without your moving an inch. That's it." 

She lifted her white face. " Mr. Kentish, 
I'm afraid for Leonard. I shouldn't say 
anything — but I'm desperately afraid. You 
know what Cedarswood is, and how popular 
Leonard is with everybody. There are lots 
of nice people, but put them all together and 
they'd smash Leonard if there was any 
scandal. Wouldn't they ? Leonard's like a 
big boy ; he never thinks what he's doing, 
never considers very much. And I'm sure 
there's something wrong. Yet I wouldn't 
ask Leonard about it. This morning I 
thought I could. But I couldn't— not then. 
And now — it's funny — I know I could never 
ask him." 

Digitized by \ji 



She stopped dead. Had she told him ? 
She did not know. One second Constance 
hoped she had, the next she tried to recall 
exactly what she had said. It was odd to 
see his usually smiling face so grave. But he 
still looked very friendly. And solid — that 
was the word, Constance decided, looking at 
him in her distress — one of those rare men 
whose foundations are impregnable. There 
was such a quality of safety about George 
Kentish. He conveyed the idea that his 
future was impregnable also. 

" Rather a lot about Leonard," he com- 
mented, dryly. " What about yourself ? " 

She stared at him. She said, blankly but 
quite truthfully. " I don't understand. I'm 
thinking of Leonard. And then there's the 
children — it's horrible ! " 

" For the moment," Kentish told her, 
stolidly, " I'm thinking of you, if you don't 
mind. Is money the trouble ? " He was 
aware of a little awkwardness, his big hands 
moved a little. " That's easy ; that's down 
my street." 

" It isn't money." Her denial was vehe- 
ment. He saw the fingers of her hands grip 
together. 

" Then it's a woman," George Kentish 
pronounced flatly. " I'm going to talk 
straight, Mrs. Constance. I never could beat 
about the bush — never found it worth while. 
You'd better let me ask Leonard, if you can't. 
I'll frighten him out of his life ; it's the only 
way. I'll pull him up. Trust me ! " 

Constance was aghast. Then she had told 
him. She heard his voice queerly, as if it 
came from the end of a tunnel. " Of course 
I'm right. It's an infernal shame ! " 

" You wouldn't tell Leonard what I've told 
you ! " 

" No. I'm not going to ask you another 
question. If you don't want to tell me what 
Master Leonard has been up to, I'll find out 
myself. Whatever it is, I'll see that he stops 
it. Because if he doesn't, as you said your- 
self, he'll go smash. I know Cedarswood 
people." 

Constance tried to consider, tried to think. 
But she only looked at George Kentish — 
realized nothing except his determination, 
his strength. 

" Leonard would listen to you." 

" He'd have to. Nobody outside would 
know anything; I'd watch that. Mis. 
Constance, I've been here at the Court nearly 
five years. When I first took the place 
everybody in Cedarswood wanted to know 
all about me. They pumped me to know 
why I had never married, how much I made 
a year, just what my business was in the 
City, and all that nonsense. I very soon put 
a stop to that, and they learned to leave me 
alone. What's my business got to do with 
tnem i 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



236 



When X Equals Maud 



" They can take me or leave me — and I 
guess they take me all right now — I'm 
worth something to the place. They don't 
look down their noses at me now, as they did 
then. I'm business all the time — always 
have been — and everything goes back to 
money, when you work it out. I'm very fond 
of you and your husband. There wasn't any 
of that questioning flummery about you ; 
you were nice to me from the start. I've 
backed him every way I could, I " 

" You've been the kindest friend to us 
both, Mr. Kentish— to me." 

" It's been all pleasure. Leonard's a good 
boy, but he's got no business. He doesn't 
want it, perhaps, in his work — we all know 
there isn't another church in Cedarswood 
that's packed every Sunday. I've helped 
there, Mrs. Constance, though I say it 
mvsclf." 

He was right there. George Kentish 
was one of the most prominent, certainly 
tha most influential, of the members of 
Leonard's church. She recalled his unfailing 
help, the value of his quiet advice on occa- 
sions hard to count. She murmured, " If 

only you could help Leonard " and 

stopped. 

" Leave it to me," he declared, instantly. 
His confidence made her think of George 
Kentish as a rock, of Leonard as drifting 
sand, blown near the edge of a cliff. " I 
said I wouldn't ask another question; I'm 
not going to. If Leonard's gone off the rails, 
I'll put him back again. Without a soul in 
Cedarswood knowing, except you and me. 
That s a promise, Mrs. Constance. And 
Leonard will never know you told me a word. 
I promise that too." 

She gazed up at him during a long moment 
of silence. Something of his own confidence 
passed to her, and she welcomed it with a 
wonderful sense of relief. Again Constance 
thought of him as impregnable. Could it be 
true that the thing which was worrying her 
to death was there only to be swept away — 
by him ? Suddenly she felt it must be true. 
And after that it was inevitable. She told 
George Kentish everything. 

She felt years younger. She felt every 
lit as young as yesterday morning, when 
Leonard and the children had been everything 
tnere was to think about. Before the in- 
tolerable shadow of Maud had come into her 
house. 

" I'm your plain man," George Kentish 
told her. " I'm money and common-sense, 
you might say. And money and common- 
reuse can settle anything in the world. I'll 
settle this. You're to go home and forget all 
about it till I've got something to tell you. 
Leave it to me." 

He helped adjust her coat (its second 
season), patted her shoulder, held her hand 

Digitized by LiOOgK 



for quite a little while, opened the door of 
the magical Daimler himself. Waved good- 
bye to her till the bend of the drive took the 
car. Went back into the big room and stood 
in exactly the same position. A dark dis- 
content changed the jolly face of George 
Kentish. He seemed to see Constance Miles 
still sitting there before him, welcomed a 
return of a pleasant thrill. George Kentish 
was a rich man, but he was a lonely man. 
The last half-hour of Constance's visit, the 
slow half-hour in which his sympathy had 
persuaded her to confession of her trouble, 
had been none too long for him. 

He roused himself, shaking off that visiot 
of Constance sitting there, shaking off regret- 
fully that other vision of a woman like 
Constance moving like light about the rooms 
of his big house. George Kentish became 
money and common-sense again. Problems : 
To find Maud ; to frighten Leonard Miles out 
of his life about Maud ; to send Maud pack- 
ing. And Leonard must on no account 
know how George Kentish had known of 
Maud's existence. 

He had promised that. 

Money and common-sense rang up his 
office in the City, asked a few quick questions. 
Then Kentish rang up the superintendent of 
the telephone area which included Cedars- 
wood. Money and common-sense never for- 
gets anything, always knows the right men, 
always has a pull. 

" I want to ask a favour," said George 
Kentish. " You know the Miles 's house in 
Hillcrest Avenue ? His telephone's out of 
order. Would it hurt anybody very much if 
it wasn't put right again for three days from 
now ? Or two days, even, might do — 111 
let you know." 

THREE days later George Kentish called 
at the Miles s house. Constance was 
out. and he found I^eonard in his study, 
waiting for tea. Tea came. Kentish allowed 
his hest to enjoy half a cup, and then pulled 
the rope — hard. 

" This won't do, you know, Leonard," he 
said, bluntly. 

Leonard's first bewildered fancy that he 
was referring to the tea crumbled to dust at 
the sight of the other's face. 

" What on earth do you mean, Kentish ? ** 
he asked. 

" Maud," said Kentish. 

It was brief but alarmingly adequate 
Leonard stared at him as though he had been 
a wizard. Kentish awaited anger, rebellion m 
or passionate denial, but none of these thinp^ 
came. Leonard Miles just stared at his 
accusing guest with terror in his eyes. 

" Maud," repeated Kentish. " Maud 
Scrutton, Old Yorke Street, London, \V. 
For your sake, I.eonard, I've been making a 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



Herbert Shaw 



237 



lot of inquiries about the lady. Some friends 
of mine on the Baltic Exchange know pretty 
well all there is to know about the way she 
does business. It's hard for anybody to get 
out of her clutches once he gets in. But I'm 
going to get you out, Leonard. You must 
have been mad I " 

B< 1 meant no harm* I've done nothing 
wrong. I hoped Ai 

" Cut it out/' the 
other ordered. His 
face was hard, lf The /' i 

Bankruptcy Court is 
full of hopers who 
didn't stick to iheir 
own job, Hupers who 
back horses get the e 
quicker han the ordi- 
nary kind. How much 
have you tost 10 this 
ad vert isi n g woman 
bookmaker? How 
long has it been going 
on ? " 

Leonard Miles re 
covered a little. He 
gasped his chin back 
into position, and tried 
to meet the other's 
eyes, 

tg What's the good o 
your bullying me 
Kentish ? You're rich 
— you've everything 
you want. You 
couldn 't understand, 
you—' 1 

" I'm a plain man, 
and perhaps 1 can't 
understand/* Kentish 
interrupted, dis- 
gustedly, " But don't 
forget I'm talking to 
you as a friend, and 
that sort of whining 
excuse makes me sick. 
I never backed a horse 
in my life P so 1 don't 
know much about it 
But I've friends in the 
City that do, I've 
made it my business 
to collect information 
from them about this 
Maud Scrutton, Did 
you ever have a win 
from her ? " 

' Two or three 
pounds now and then/' Leonard answered, 
miserably . 

" I thought so. And you're afraid to tell 
me what you've lost And you've got the 
best wife in the world, two jolly children — 
and you sit there and tell me I've got every 




M What's the matter between you 
and Leonard ? ** asked big George 
Kentish, bluntly. "What's wrong?" 



thing. 1 know what you gti Irom the 
church, Leonard, Five hundred would almost 
cover your income. It isn't only that ; you 
put your whole future in jeopardy. How 
long do you suppose Cedars wood would stand 
you if you were known to be a betting man ? 

"NERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



*3 8 



When X Equals Maud 



They'd have you out the quickest they know 
how. You'd be finished— done ! " 

Leonard's silence admitted it. He felt — 
and still looked — like a convicted prisoner 
at the bar. He could find only two words of 
defence : — 

" Nobody knows" 

" Not your fault if they don't." Judge 
and prosecuting counsel spoke, as it were, 
together. " The day before yesterday I saw 
you coming out of the little post-office at the 
end of the town. Suppose you thought it 
clever not to use the main one. I shouted 
after you, but you didn't hear. I had to 
send a wire, and there on the pad, scratched 
with a hard pencil in plain English, I saw 
the impression of the wire you had just sent. 
I've got it here." 

He unfolded it. 

" There it is, as plain as if it was actually 
written. Code, I suppose. Wouldn't it 
make anybody curious, anybody who knew 
you, anybody who liked you ? ' To Maud 
London. Hunt Galloping Dick.' Signed, 
' Miles.' That's how I knew. Galloping 
Dick is the name of a horse. That's 
obvious to an idiot. What's ' Hunt ' 
mean ? " 

" I forget," said Leonard, honestly. 

" Good Lord ! " exclaimed Kentish. " And 
you tell me you hoped to make money out of 
backing horses ! Did you remember what 
it meant when you put it down, or didn't 
you ? " 

" Of course," Leonard Miles answered, with 
dignity. " I don't suppose you'll believe 
me, but I was really very careful. That's 
the first wire I ever sent from any Cedars- 
wood post-office. I always used the tele- 
phone, but it got out of order, and I can't 
persuade them to send anybody to see to it. 
I'll tell you what ' Hunt ' means in a minute. 
Here you are," Leonard announced, un- 
locking a drawer of his writing-table and 
fishing from a heap of papers a neat gold- 
printed card. " This is the code. ' Hunt ' 
means two pounds." 

" To Maud Scrutton or to you ? " Kentish 
inquired, with sarcasm. " Did Galloping 
Dick win or lose that day ? " 

The effort to remember was obviously 
painful. It lasted over a minute. 

'■ She lost." 

" Who ? Maud ? " asked Kentish, not 
very hopefully. 

" No. Galloping Dick." 

" I think I should have guessed it," 
Kentish commented, dryly. " Any other 
winners this week ? " 

Leonard shook his head. " I decided," 
he said, brightly, " to do nothing more till 
the telephone was in order. Yes, I remember 
now, I decided that — firmly." 

" You are visited by occasional moments 

iizedbyOOOgle 



of sense," remarked his questioner, approv< 
ingly. " Did you lose anything last week ? " 

'* Did I ? Let me think." Leonard con- 
sulted a few samples from the muddle of 
papers with a painful slowness. " Ah, I've 
got everything here. I put it down sys- 
tematically. I'm afraid I lost last week, it 
seems." 

George Kentish was valiantly patient, 
though his hands moved irritably. " How 
much ? " 

" A bad week, I fear," replied Leonard, in 
a kind of frightened whisper. " No, not a 
good week at all." 

" How much ? " 

" I have it here." Leonard's wavering 
forefinger pinned down a piece of paper. " I 
have everything here — if I can find it. Last 
week — twenty-four pounds. The Times — in 
other matters an excellent paper — favoured, 
wrongly, a filly with a very pretty name. 
Etta-something — no, that isn't right — nearly 
right, though. Now I have it— Coronetta. 
It — she — came in, I believe, fourth." 

KENTISH saw red. Perhaps he thought 
of the worry Constance had suffered, 
and he slammed one of his great hands 
upon the table so that the other man jumped. 

" Twenty-four pounds ! " he echoed. 
" Twenty- four pounds in a week — and you 
don't earn six hundred a year. What have 
you got to say for yourself, man ? " 

Leonard jumped again, and said it. And 
slowly the hard face of George Kentish 
changed. Constance hadn't been well lately 
— she wasn't up to things — there was too 
much work in the house — and then the 
Church work. Leonard had dreamed a 
wonderful dream of, somehow, getting enough 
money together to send her to Switzerland 
for a month. Kentish, always so decent to 
them, would understand. There had come, 
addressed to the previous tenant of the 
house next door, which had been empty 
for some time, one of the inviting circulars 
of Maud Scrutton, Old Yorke Street. 
Leonard, like the lamb he was in all practical 
matters, had jumped at the bait with the 
utterly foolish hope of getting the funds to 
provide a really good holiday for Constance. 

He had lost. He had won, by sheer fluk- 
ing, a pound or so. He had lost. He had 
kept on. Still dreaming. The holiday for 
Constance was farther off than it had ever 
been. In short, Maud triumphed. Leonard 
was ashamed, penitent, bitterly remorseful. 

" I see," said Kentish, at the end of this 
confession. His voice was a great deal softer. 
" I'm going to get to the end of this business 
— I want the facts. Turn out all those notes 
you've got there, Leonard, and push them 
over to me. I want to know how much 
you've lost altogether. I've got an idea." 



I u I I I ■_' I I 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Herbert Shaw 



239 



• In his scrambling way, on odds and ends 
of paper, Leonard Miles had made a note of 
every winning and losing transaction in his 
futile career as a gambler ; had kept — care- 
fully locked up — several of the weekly 
accounts of Maud Scrutton. Kentish's 
painstaking accountancy of profit and loss 
was suddenly interrupted by a startling 
discovery. His exclamation awoke Leonard, 
brooding painfully over his folly. 

" Didn't you tell me you never backed in 
big amounts ? There 's no less than two 
thousand mentioned here— on this coloured 
slip. What does that mean ? " 

" I do remember that one," Leonard 
explained, with a kind of jerky pride. " It's 
a double event. Long odds, they call it — 
you risk your money a long time before the 
races are run. You back two horses to- 
gether. I remember thinking that bet alone 
would settle Constance's holiday and leave a 
lot over. Two separate races — two thousand 
pounds to two pounds — but both horses have 
got to win, you understand ? " 

" No, I don't," Kentish grumbled. " This 
slip says, ' Dear Sir, I have obtained the 
following commissions for you : Cesarewitch 
and Cambridgeshire, two thousand pounds 
to two pounds win. Odd Money and Double ' 
— Double something — what's the name of 
the second horse ? " 

" Doub'e Baulk," replied Leonard, readily. 
" Wait, though — there were two horses with 
names very much alike, Double Baulk and 
Double Blank. I remember hesitating for a 
long time. Let me think. Yes, I remember 
now. I decided on Double Baulk for the 
second race, just because the Times said it 
hadn't a chance, and I'd been playing 
billiards with Horton at his new house. 
The first race is over — the Cesarewitch. It 
was run the other day, and Odd Money won . 
Didn't you know ? " 

" I did not," said Kentish, testily, lookingat 
the slip. " You've got me all tangled up. Do 
you mean to tell me that if Double Baulk wins 
the second race this Maud Scrutton person will 
pay over a couple of thousand to you ? " 

"Of course," Leonard answered, simply. 
" And if it doesn't win I shall owe her two 
pounds. It's a thousand to one against — 
what did she call it in a special circular she 
sent ? — spotting the double. So you can see 
for yourself that's the same as two thousand 
to two." 

" It seems wonderful to me," remarked 
Kentish, and a sudden recollection came 
to him. " By the way, they were shouting 
something as I drove past the station. 
When's that second race of yours run ? " 

Leonard couldn't remember for the 
moment. So he found the Times under a 
pile of manuscript paper and library books, 
and opened it. 

Digitized by LiOOglC 



" By Jove, it's to-day ! " He was quite 
surprised. He looked steadily at Kentish. 
Quite unexpectedly, he took the other man's 
hand. 

" You've* put me right, Kentish. I've 
been an utter fool. If you like, I'll promise 
you that I'll never have another bet of any 
kind. But just fancy, if Double Baulk has 
won, I'll be able to arrange for that holiday 
for Constance straight away. Two thousand 
pounds ! And you'll have to come with us — 
I shall insist upon that." 

George Kentish laughed. But he did not 
let go at once of the other's hand. " There's 
nothing would give me more pleasure," he 
said, heartily. " If you've brought this 
amazing chance off " 

And then he pulled his hand away. '.' I've 
a paper here," he cried. " I stopped the car 
and bought a paper for the result of the East 
Darkshire by-election. Let's have a look." 

Even stolid George Kentish was conscious 
of an odd, but not unpleasant, tingling of 
excitement. " Double Baulk," he whispered, 
unconsciously, and Leonard Miles, already 
looking over his shoulder, echoed, " Yes, 
that's the one. Double Baulk ! " 

THERE it was, in the Stop Press, in rather 
sludgy type. Very near, but very differ- 
ent. DOUBLE BLANK 1— at the head 
of a list of fourteen runners. 

Midway down the list of useless names 
was Double Baulk. The holiday for Con- 
stance was still uncharted. 

" Well, that's that," Leonard murmured. 
He sat down, rather white. " Of course, you 
couldn't expect it to happen." 

" No," agreed Kentish, refolding the 
stupid paper carefully. " Sit there and try 
to forget about it, Leonard. Give me those 
notes of yours again. Now I'll get back to 
the ordinary world. To work — Lord, if you 
knew what I think of all this gambling ! 
It ruins nine out of every ten who fool about 
with it." 

" It's not going to ruin Constance and me," 
declared Leonard. " I've finished with it." 

" Good man ! " said Kentish. But he 
spoke abstractedly, busy with the other's 
puerile figures. Nearly ten minutes had 
gone before he looked up and laid down his 
fountain-pen. 

" Now, then, Leonard. I've got it all' 
down. You seem to have been feeding Maud 
Scrutton with pocket-money for the last 
eleven weeks. Before we go any farther, is 
there anybody else in this line ? " 

" On my honour, no." 

" I only asked. In those eleven weeks 
you've won a shilling or two over twenty-one 
pounds. Were you stupid enough to pay 
these losing accounts by cheque ? The bank 
would know where it was going " 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



240 



When X Equals Maud 



" Always by notes. Except this last week. 
I paid the twenty-four pounds by cheque." 

" It can't be helped. Then all these 
losing accounts are paid ? Right. Then in 
eleven weeks you've paid this • woman just 
over ninety pounds. Maud Scrutton benefits 
by a balance of seventy odd. She would ! " 

Leonard sat silent. He found himself 
wondering. George Kentish seemed to him 
to be suppressing a savage mirth. He saw 
the other pull a cheque-book from his pocket, 
and he cried out : — 

" What are you doing ? " 

" Making good your losses," Kentish 
barked, crossly, rather as though a dog under 
the writing-table had suddenly bitten him. 
" I hate seeing good money wasted. Seventy 
pounds — on your solemn promise that you 
drop all betting, all gambling, for ever." 

Leonard touched his arm violently. 

" Don't, please, Kentish. It's absurd ! 
I won't take it from you." 

" Do you mean you won't give me that 
promise ? " 

" Certainly not. I've given it you already. 
Don't be afraid I sha'n't keep it." 

"I'm not in the least afraid of that. I 
think you've learnt your lesson." 

He began to write. Leonard fumbled 
with ineffective words of rerronstrance. He 
fidgeted nervously, determined not to let 
Kentish do what was in his mind. Suddenly 
George Kentish jumped up. It was astonish- 
ing that he should be the first to know that 
Constance Miles was standing in the study 
by the door. 

" I'm having trouble with an obstinate 
husband," Kentish informed her. " I'll 
transfer the discussion to you, if you'll let 
me explain." 

" You needn't. I've been listening for the 
last five minutes. You were too busy with 
the paper to notice when I came in." 

Constance spoke gravely. But then she 
laughed. And George Kentish noted that 
her eyes were shining and that she stood very 
upright. She was not the same woman who 
had made confession to Kentish in his house. 
She had discovered Maud. A smile moved 
the lips of Kentish and danced for a second 
in his heart. She went across to her hus- 
band. Kentish scarcely heard her musing 
whisper, " Poor old Leonard ! " 

" Touching this little matter of a holiday," 
began Kentish, without hesitation, and lifted 
a warning hand. " I'm in the chair — I don't 
want either of you to speak a word, please. 
I'm a faddy person, and I've got to be 
humoured. I've got money, and nothing to 
do with it." 

" What ever are you talking about, Mr. 
Kentish ? " 

Kentish looked at her, whipped out his 
watch, pretended to be flurried for time. 

Digitized by GOOQK 



" It's quite simple, Mrs. Constance. Lorcf, 
I shall have to hurry ! Leonard's got to take 
you on a holiday — a real holiday — Mrs. 
Constance, as soon as he can find somebody 
to take his place for a Sunday or so. And 
the bill's mine. There's nothing more to 
be said. To please me ! " 

He turned savagely on Leonard — on 
Leonard expostulating. 

" I can't hear you ! Take hold of this— 
quick ! " Leonard making no movement, 
he stuffed the cheque into Leonard's nearest 
pocket. It's two hundred ; balance over 
the seventy is for holiday money. If you 
tear that up — if you don't present it before 
the end of this week — you'll lose me as a 
neighbour. I'll put the Court into the mar- 
ket and clear out of Cedarswood. Get me ? " 

That was George Kentish. Always, they 
reflected, he meant what he said, meant 
whole-heartedly what he did. While they 
stood in silence, intently getting him, he 
glared at them both in turn. 

" Aren't I godfather to your little Nancy ? " 
he half shouted. Then Constance moved. 

" Won't you stay and let us try to thank 



you 



she said. 



Kentish threw back his head. " Thank 
me ! What for ? I'd love to stay, but I've 
something I must fix up in town. Good-bye, 
both of you. Mind you have a good time." 

THEY would never forget it, either of 
them. They said so to each other 
many times. 

George Kentish drove his fast two-seater 
very fast to London — the same car in which 
he had patiently waited at the outlying 
post-office — waited for hours, till Leonard 
should come to send a telegram. His cam- 
paign was over. He glowed with success. 

All the offices on the third floor, to which 
the lift took him, were his. George Kentish 
entered the small and beautiful room which 
was his private office. Here there were 
three prints of Hiroshige, two wonderful 
armchairs, and one Aubusson carpet of great 
merit. One shining tape-machine, at which 
George Kentish looked and frowned. A 
couple of favourites — the devil fly away with 
all favourites ! — had won the last two races. 

The sallow clerk who came at his summon? 
was dressed to equal the appearance of a 
Prime Minister's secretary. 

" Any news ? " asked Kentish. 

" Not so good." About the black brushed 
head of the confidential clerk a shade oJ 
gloom was almost visible. " Some mu<2 
punter in a suburb called Cedarswood has 
done the dirty on the book. Miles, whoever 
he is. He's had the nerve to click the 
Ccsarewitch and Cambridgeshire double — we 
laid him two thousand pounds to two some 
weeks back — Odd Money and Double Blank. "* 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Herbert Shaw 



<m 




"Leonard's got to take you on a holiday — a real holiday — Mrs. Constance. And 
the hill's mine. Take hold of this -quick I " 

Vq1 - w - ia ' "DIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



242 



When X Equals Maud 



" Fluked the double, has he ? " murmured 
Kentish, thoughtfully. " Well, what do 
you think of that ! " 

The clerk defined it angrily as a nasty jar. 
Kentish told him to bring the books. 

He brought a big book, open at the name 
of Miles. Kentish dismissed him and sat 
down. George Kentish is Maud Scrutton ; 
I hope you haven't guessed it. These serene 
and discreet offices in Old Yorke Street, the 
Daimler, the Rolls, and the two-seaters, the 
spreading gardens and the big house at 
Cedarswood called the Court, are all Maud's. 
Maud, the lucky wench, George Kentish, 
the merry well-doer, here in Old Yorke Street 
(and nowhere else) meet as one. 

George Kentish took from his pocket the 
slip of tinted paper that recorded the winning 
bet. Already, in the book before him, neat 
round figures announced Maud Scrutton's 
indebtedness of two thousand pounds to 
Leonard Miles of Cedarswood. Kentish had 
studied the book on the previous afternoon. 
Five minutes before he had entered the 
Miles 's house on this exciting day he had 
known that Leonard had backed the winner 
and won two thousand pounds. 

Leonard Miles had successfully remem- 
bered only his intention to back Double 
Baulk. He had successfully forgotten that 
he had abandoned that intention and backed 
Double Blank instead. All the evidence of 
that glorious change of mind was in the slip 
George Kentish now inspected with a cheerful 
eye. Double Blank, the winner, seemed 
to leap from it in foot letters. He addressed 
the slip as though it were human. 

" I was cold all over till I'd got hold of 



you, my darling," he told it, chattily. " And 
I kidded Leonard Miles he was on Double 
Baulk ! Two thousand to a couple of measly 
jimmies — not likely ! I ask you, what a 
forgetter ! " 

Silence. A kind of digestive silence, while 
a Corona was being procured from store, 
and on the wall the Japs of Hiroshige went 
blandly through their rice-fields and their 
rain. 

Soliloquy, with puffs : — 

" How do I stand ? A hundred '11 settle 
the fitments they want for their bazaar — and 
two hundred the cheque. Saved a solid two 
thousand — on balance I'm a clean seventeen 
hundred pounds up. Good enough ! " 

George Kentish rang the bell, took up a 
broad-nibbed pen, and splayed a thick line 
diagonally across the account of Leonard 
Miles, wrote CLOSED across it in huge, 
painstaking capitals. By this time the 
magnificent clerk looked on. 

"I'll settle this man Miles 's account 
myself," said Kentish. " And I'm closing 
his account altogether. Writing him ; 1 
don't want him to bet with me again. And 
I don't want any circulars sent to any address 
at Cedarswood in future. I've a reason." 

" Bet you have," grinned the young 
nobleman, cheerfully. He was a privileged 
person. M They're a bit too hot for you 
down that quarter, what ? Two thousand 
to two ! " 

IT'S an odd world, an unjust world. 
Business is business, sure enough. Isn't it 
nice to write a story where everybody is 
happy at the end ? Even Maud I 



ACROSTICS 



DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. Uu. 

(The Second of the Series.) 

Men cling to place ; in first for last 

They stick, when usefulness is past. 

1. They measure what you cannot see, 
And carriage free will guarantee. 

2. In this, a princess comes to view : 
An insect small is in it, too. 

3. On ground forbidden prone to ru*»h ; 
Though naught is in it, 'tis a crush. 

4. Land where reversed is style behold, 
By footgear strangely crossed of old. 

6. Vain talk ; a poet would appear 

If stones enough were added here. 
6. Not hard, as interposed ; for you 
From midshipman may take your cue. 

* QUIVIS. 

Answers to Acrostic No. 110 should be addressed to the 
Acrostic Editor, The Strand Magazine, Southampton 
Street, Strand, London, W.C.2, and must arrive not later 
than by the first post on September \2th. 

To every light one alternative answer may be sent ; it 
should be written at the side. At the foot of his answer every 
solver should write his pseudonym and nothing else. 



ANSWER TO DOUBLE ACROSTIC No. 
Leaving town and work behind. 
Leaving caro of every kind, 



109. 



Simple joys in life we prize — 
Cloudless days and sunny skies. 

1. Red was suit of thievish knave. 

2. Greater part of Gallic grave. 

3. Classic tongue, of bygone time. 

4. Cornish saint, in riddling rhyme. 
6. Mild expletive, mostly tree. 

6. Elsewhere— oft a useful plea. 

7. Money, turn a marshal round. 

&. Scottish isle with heavenly sound. 

PAX. 



1. 


H . 


e art 


S 


2. 


O 


m be a 


u 


3. 


L 


a t i 


N 


4. 


I 


v e 


S 


6. 


D 


as 


H 


6. 


A 


lib 


I 


7. 


Y 


e 


N 


8. 


S 


ky 


E 



e 



Notes.— Light 2. French, tombeau, 5. Ash. 7. Mar- 
shal Ney. 

The last light of No. 107 lends itself to a few other 
answers besides the published one, and these five words 
must bo accepted : Three (Oneyer, Tyrone, Oenone) ; 
Tantalise and Tantalize (Tanrec, Talbot, Iseuli, and 
Izeutz) ; Twentj-one (Tweeny, county, Oenone) ; Tat- 
lanthe (Tataro, Lidivk, Un the). 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



243 




7/1(7 f^. 

rz in £T\ -M 

Joua ' J 



m 




He no longer sees the girl as she is ; he sees ihe idealized image of her which love 

has created in his heart. 



£ 



Arnold Bennett 



THE CONTROL OF LOVE. 

"TT WONDER how many people grow 
? up with the fixed idea that love is 
1 a thing which human intelligence 
cannot effectively control ? The per- 
centage of citizens — and especially Anglo- 
Saxon citizens— thus deceived about a vital 
matter must be very large. We probably 
get our notions concerning love and falling 
in love from the sentimental drawing-room 
ballad, which, at any rate in Britain, has 
an immense influence over the private 
dreams of the population, (There is no 
sentimental drawing-room ballad in France — 
or none to speak of, and the institution of 
the ballad concert is entirely unknown there) 
In the sentimental drawing-room ballad 
one special girl awaits one special young 

G*py rig hr, nj'j, by 



man ; they meet by accident Or by the will 
of the gods ; at the meeting she looks into 
his eyes, he into hers ; a miracle happens ; 
and they both know that from that moment 
their two lives were changed for ever and 
ever, and also that no other girl could have 
had the wondrous effect that that special 
girl had on that special youth, and vice versa. 
They know further that the affair could 
not have been avoided, love being a sort oi 
inscrutable higher power tyrannizing over 
human beings, and that nothing on earth 
matters except the one supreme fact of love, 
The sentimental drawing-room ballad re- 
gards love as mankind us^d to regard disease 
and pestilence — that is to say, as a visita- 
tion, vastly more agreeable, of course, than 
an epidemic of smallpox, but nevertheless a 
visitation, which mortals did not cause and 

Am-MMWERSITV OF MICHIGAN 



*44 



Falling in Love 



cannot cure — something similar to a thunder- 
storm or a flood. All delusions have some 
basis of truth, and the delusion propagated 
by the sentimental drawing-room .ballad can 
occasionally find justification for itself in 
certain very odd and striking phenomena ; 
but broadly speaking it does not at all 
correspond to life as we know Hfe, and it 
has been the cause of more unhappy and 
tedious marriages than anything else since 
marriage was invented. I might put the 
case more strongly, but I will not do so, 
lest I should anger the ballad-loving Anglo- 
Saxon publics, who love to dwell upon the 
alleged awful ravages of love, and upon the 
helplessness of love's victims, and upon the 
futility of trying to escape love when Love 
has made up his mind to have you. 

Falling in love, being in love, loving — 
three stages of a single process — constitute 
often an exceedingly fine experience, possibly 
the finest of all worldly experiences. The 
•experience, however, does not lie entirely 
beyond human control. Nor is it generally, 
or often, productive of more happiness than 
unhappiness. It sometimes is, but not 
frequently. This statement contains no 
cynicism ; it is the fruit of quite benevolent 
observation, and few really mature impartial 
observers would challenge it. I am, never- 
theless, well aware that it will infuriate a 
considerable proportion of readers — men as 
well as women. 

Love, despite the sentimental drawing- 
room ballad, is usually determined by indi- 
vidual circumstances of a material kind. 
For example, if a man who has been too 
poor to marry comes into a sufficient income, 
the chances are a hundred to one that soon 
afterwards he will be in love with some likely 
girl. You may argue that the thing was a 
coincidence, and that he would have been 
in love with that young woman anyhow. 
But is it not far more probable that he fell 
in love because he was ready to fall in love — 
in other words, because he had deliberately 
prepared himself to fall in love ? 

Similarly, a man who begins to find life a 
bore will fall in love. 

And, conversely, a man who finds his 
existence full and interesting, an ambitious 
man, will not fall in love. He misses the 
visitation because he does not want it. 

Again, a man who has been baulked in a 
love affair will fall in love a second time 
within a brief period, for the reason that 
he wanted, not a particular girl, but love 
itself. He had tasted it and he was deter- 
mined to get his fill of it. 

Instances could easily be multiplied to 
illustrate the broad truth that people who 
want to fall in love will fall in love, and 
those who don't, won't. So far from Cupid 
running after you with a bow and arrow, 



iow and a 



you must run after Cupid and bare your 
breast and entreat the fellow to shoot if 
you desire to feel the dart. I admit willingly 
that there are exceptions to this proposition. 
Now and then an individual may be posi- 
tively struck down by love in a highly incon- 
venient and even tragic manner. He may 
curse, and strive against it, and still be 
conquered by it. But this individual is very 
rare — save in ballads. 

As for the ballad theory that every youth 
and every girl has his or her particular 
" fate," and unless or until he or she meets 
that " fate " his or her life cannot be " ful- 
filled," it is as certain as anything human 
can be that in the average happy marriage 
the husband would have been equally happy 
with any one of ten thousand other women, 
and the wife with any one of ten thousand 
other men. (And when I say ten thousand 
I am understating !) The choice of a partner 
is seldom due to aught but fortuitous cir- 
cumstances. If each individual has his 
" fate," it is extremely curious that his 
fate so often happens to be living in the 
same town, or even in the same street 1 

Am I seeking to rob life and love of their 
romance ? Assuredly I am not. Life and 
love are incredibly and incurably romantic, 
and the more honestly you examine them 
the more romantic they seem. A man does 
not find his " fate." He takes a woman — 
one of tens of thousands — and gradually 
fashions her into his unique fate. Is not 
this astonishing process more romantic than 
the prosaic business of lighting on her by 
accident ready-made ? 

THAT nearly every man has a very large 
measure of control over the love which 
may make or spoil him cannot be 
doubted. In order effectively to exercise 
that control he must give his mind to the 
subject of love and its probable influence 
upon his career. This does not mean that 
he must spend his days in dreaming of 
the delights of love. It means that he 
must begin by putting certain questions 
to himself and answering them as sincerely 
as he can. On the other hand, it does not 
mean that he must try to lay down a plan 
of love as he might lay down the plan 
of a career. No ! Love is a ticklish and 
incalculable affair ; it cannot be reduced 
to a formula ; it cannot, without absurdity, 
be approached exclusively in a spirit of 
pure logic ; it may easily upset the schemes 
of hard common sense. But it is in general 
amenable to the suggestions of sagacity. 
And, seeing its importance, its beauty, its 
magnificence, its romance, its immense con- 
sequences, every effort should be made by 
the reasoning faculty to guide it wisely. 
Now the young man who is not a fool 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



245 



will first decide whether or not he is ready 
(or love. He will deliberately decide it ; 
and no jeering of sentimentalists shall 
move me lrom this statement, 

Is it better to marry earlier or later ? 
It is unanswerably better to marry earlier, 
provided that the material basis for marriage 
exists, It is better because it is more natural, 
because it is more healthy, because it is 
more agreeable, because the 
young more easily accom- 
modate the nisei ves to one 
another, and because their 
offspring have in every way 
a better chance on earth. 

But none of these con 
siderations can properly 
weigh against the absence 
of a suitable material basis. 
If the income of the marriec 
couple would be inadequate 
to the needs of wedlock and 
is without a fair prospect 
of improvement, or if the 
income is precarious 
and unreliable 
no marriage 
rightly take 
despite any- 
thing that 
ballads may 
assert to 
the con- 
trary- 

And if 
no mar- 
riage can 
r i ghtly 
take 
place, 
then the 
young man 
must decide 
that he is not 
ready for love, 
and get himself 
into a frame of 
mind accord- 
ingly. The 
frame of mind 
duly arrived at, 

he will be much less liable to fall in 
love, no matter how splendid may be 
the girls he meets ! Thus he will save 
himself, and perhaps another, from a lot 
of trouble whit h a less prudent young 
man might unreflectingly tumble into. 

Of course, there may be cases in which 
a young man who has both the material 
basis and the desire for marriage would 
still be foolish to adopt the frame of 
mind favourable to love* Such a case 
is that of the ambitious man who has 
sworn to rise high in the world. If this 

,'.ed by VliOOgle 




man marries young he may discover that his 
wife, through no fault of her own, is in- 
capable of rising with hini. Too early mar* 
riages have marred the lives of countless 
ambitious men — and of not a few ambitious 
women. 

CHOOSING, 

a young man is in 
position to marry, 
and that he has re- 
flected, not unfavour* 
ably, about the state of 
marriage, and that he 
has the ordinary facili- 
ties for encountering 
young women. That 
young man is almost 
certain to meet fairly 
soon a young woman 
concerning whom his 
first thought will be : 
" She is not a bad 
sort" We say: M He 
has taken a fancy .to 
her/ J but the situation 
would be more cor- 
rectly described by the 
words ; " His fancy has 
been taken." 

Now here is the 
moment of peril. If at 
this moment circum- 
stances arose which 
prevented him from 
ever seeing the girl 
again, he would 
not suffer. No 
harm has been 
done. The 
-*^#t st range 
" little mi- 
crobe is 
only on 
the sur- 
face as 
yet ; it has not 
I >e 1 let rated into 
the system ; it 
can be brushed 
off. Reason and 
judgment are 
still in control 
of the proceed- 
ings. The young 
man ought to 
realize, and can 
easily realize by 
an effort of de- 
tachment, that 
he is playing 
with fixe. He 
ought to realize 
that he may be 



They meet by accident ; a 
miracle hffppcn.1. 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



246 



Falling in Love 



at a crisis of his life, and that within the 
next few weeks things may have happened 
in his heart which will affect profoundly 
the whole of his career. He ought not to 
conduct himself lightly. 

Yet few young men do in fact realize 
these matters. The average young man 
just goes carelessly on, listening to his fancy 
alone. He will see that girl again. He does 
see her again. In a couple of months, even 
if not betrothed, his affections may be 
so deeply involved that reason has ceased 
to be in command of the proceedings. He 
no longer sees the girl as she is ; he sees the 
idealized image of her which love has created 
in his heart. He no longer sees the pros 
and cons of the tremendous and endless 
enterprise which we call marriage ; he sees 
only the pros, and he sees them greatly 
exaggerated. 

The affair, of course, may turn out excel- 
lently well ; but if it does he is lucky — 
not meritorious, because he has neglected 
the early precautions which he ought to 
have taken. 

The lesson is : that if reason is to act 
in a love affair, it must act in the earliest 
stages, or it cannot act at all. By deliberate 
thought and intention reason can be made 
to act, and its operation will be invaluable. 

How should reason act ? At the very start, 
before the matches have even been brought 
into the chamber where the powder-barrel 
lies, the young man should say to himself : 
" I am thinking about that girl. Before 
I go any farther let me think seriously and 
widely; dreaming about the attractiveness 
of her is not serious thinking. I must stand 
on one side and try to see the situation as 
a third person would see it." 

The first point for his attention is this : 
From the inception of any love affair, a 
continuous process of falsification is going 
on. The girl is showing the best of herself 
and hiding the worst of herself. She cannot 
help doing so. Sometimes she does it uncon- 
sciously, but as a rule she does it quite 
deliberately. She is anxious to please ; 
she is anxious to be esteemed and liked — 
whether or not she regards the young man 
favourably as a suitor. He is not seeing 
the girl in full, and it is impossible that 
he should see her in full. And even the care- 
fully selected portions of her individuality 
which he does see are seen by him 
through the rose-coloured glasses of his 
excited fancy. If he marries her he is certain 
to experience disillusion, because he has 
been asking for it. 

Further, the young man himself, precisely 
like the girl, is showing the best of himself 
and hiding the worst of himself. Both 
parties, therefore, are being continuously 
misled, and the disillusion will be mutual. 



Let the young man reflect upon this, so 
that his enthusiasm may be duly tempered. 
Let him also reflect that, just as in the 
project of marriage he is " out " mainly 
for his own interests, so is the girl "out " for 
her own interests. Drawing-room ballads 
notwithstanding, love and self-interest are 
quite compatible. The simple realization 
of this unquestionable truth will help the 
young man to judge with more reason and 
less passion than otherwise he could do. 

A GREAT deal depends upon the circum- 
stances in which the first meetings occur. 
If these, as often happens, are in a resort 
of pleasure, the difficulties of true judgment 
are gravely increased. A girl who is ideal 
at a social entertainment may be a very 
different girl in the eternal dailiness of 
marriage. (And be it ever remembered 
that marriage is about seventy-five per 
cent, humdrum, twenty per cent, trouble- 
some complications, and a bare five per 
cent, festivity of one kind or another.) 

The girl is excited. The young man is 
excited. The material available for wise 
judgment is very meagre. The young man, 
however, can trust to at any rate three 
symptoms. If she is obviously a devotee 
of pleasure, beware, for she cannot fail 
to be disappointed — with the usual results 
upon character. If she shows no thought 
for what he is spending with her or on her, 
beware, for either she is selfish or she is 
incapable of putting herself in his place. 
Thirdly, if she speaks ill of women in general, 
beware, for she is a woman herself. And 
in this connection I will add that if the young 
man catches himself thinking that by a 
most fortunate chance she is free from the 
characteristic feminine faults, let him rule 
out the notion instantly. She is not. No 
woman is. A woman may have these faults 
in a greater or less degree, but she has them, 
and if the young man does not discover 
this soon he will discover it too late. The 
same, naturally, is true of men. (Yes, young 
man, all men, including yourself, have 
characteristic masculine defects of character.) 

If the early meetings occur in a place of 
business, under business conditions, the 
chances of a sound judgment are consider- 
ably strengthened. But the young man 
should see the young woman in her own 
home, difficult though this often is to arrange 
in the preliminary stages. And if her own 
home is not satisfactory, let him guard 
against imagining that she has escaped all 
the faults of her family. She hasn't; and 
to imagine such an absurdity is a sure 
symptom that the young man is losing his 
head and his reasoning faculty about her. 

In any case, the young man should take 
measures, howevei awikward they may be. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



2^7 



to see her in prosaic circumstances, and 
circumstances which are apt to be trying for 
her. circumstances which ordinarily do bring 
to the surface the roots of the characteV. He 
can even create these circumstances himself. 
And, lastly, he should meditate upon the 
possibility that he is not the 
seeker but the sought. He 
may fancy that he is about to 
choose the girl, whereas the 



and, second h that, while it is controllable, it 
ought in the interests of individual and 
general happiness to be controlled so far 
as possible by the guidance of reason, 

Love is, 1 believe, the greatest and the 
finest phenomenon in human life ; its in- 




GirU have immense advantages. A beautiful of a charming girl in oider to be 
admired t has simply to be ; a man* in order to be admired* must do. 



fact is that the girl is about to choose him, 
lie may conceive himself as playing the active 
role, whereas in truth he may be playing the 
passive rSle. The nature of men and women 
is such that a girl can just as easily select 
and mark down and capture a man as a 
man can select and mark down and capture 
a woman. Provided that a girl has a fair 
amount of charm and is suitably situated as 
regards material conditions, she can, in my 
firm belief, win almost any man she chooses — 
and this without in the least departing from 
the rules laid down by society for the deport- 
ment of nice girls. 

There are those who will here protest, 
and perhaps violently, that, in spite of my 
previous assurances to the contrary, I am, 
as a fact, in the above suggestions, com- 
mitting & n outrage upon Jove, trying to 
make love a matter of cold calculation, and 
Heaven knows what else* But it is not so. 
I wish merely to insist, first, that love is 
not uncontrollable in its first manifestations, 



fluence is tremendous ; nothing transcends 
it in importance. Why should reason and 
deliberate judgment be excluded from it at 
the very moment when they can make 
themselves useful ? Some people seem to 
think that it is a grand thing to throw one- 
self blindly into romantic danger and to 
risk the welfare of a lifetime in an hour oi 
abandonment. I do not agree, and I doubt 
whether the said persons are wholly sincere. 
I behold them as the victims of the senti- 
mental drawing-room ballad. Reason, 1 
admit, cannot do everything in love. Nc 
man, however young and omniscient, oan 
completely arrange his heart's destiny by 
taking thought. Love cannot be treated as 
an algebraic equation. But Keason can 
emphatically do something — and something 
worth doing — to lessen the risks of a disaster, 
if only she is called into consultation soon 
enough. 

THE WOMAN'S CASE, 
So far T- Jfi&B? it any rate in appearance, 

"TVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



248 



Falling in Love 



regarded the matter from the man's point 
of view ; and in the acid judgment of ardent 
feminists I may have had the air of treating 
the wonderful preliminaries to marriage as 
a struggle of calculation in which the man 
should be encouraged to do the very best 
he can for himself while ignoring the claims 
of the woman. Such is not my attitude. 
Nearly all the suggestions which I have 
offered for the conduct of young men I 
would offer with equal vehemence for the 
conduct of girls in this great and critical 
affair ; and indeed, with the necessary changes 
of detail, they can obviously be applied with 
at least as much force to the woman's case 
as to the man's. If a man should give 
heed, a woman should give more heed. 

Some say that modern social conditions 
have fundamentally changed the girl's rela- 
tion to the man. They have changed it, 
but not fundamentally. In essentials it 
remains the same as it was. A girl can now 
earn her own living ; she has freedom, in- 
cluding the freedom to think for herself ; 
she is not so afraid as she used to be of 
becoming an old maid. She has a far larger 
choice of men than her ancestress, merely 
because she goes about more. True ! But 
she cannot earn her own living as well as 
a man ; with all her new freedom she has 
less freedom than a man ; and she still has 
a horror of becoming an old maid, whereas 
men still contemplate with perfect calm the 
prospect of becoming old bachelors. The 
crucial fact is that maidens still hanker 
after the wedded state a great deal more 
than young men do. Further, there are 
more maids than young men. 

The theory, launched in various quarters, 
that girls are no longer particularly interested 
in marriage, that they prefer their salaried 
work to the hard labour of housekeeping 
and rearing children, and that if the truth 
were known they would prefer not to marry — 
this theory does not at all accord with the 
evidence of my eyes daily seen. I am quite 
ready to call it a grotesque theory, invented 
by persons whose visual organs are in grave 
need of an oculist. The differences of sex 
survive, and are likely to continue to survive 
for quite some years yet. 

GIRLS have immense advantages ; on their 
own ground men cannot touch them. A 
beautiful or a charming girl, in order to 
be admired, has simply to be ; a man, in order 
to be admired, must do. And the husband, 
in the majority of marriages, has the sole 
financial responsibility ; the wife's responsi- 
bility in spending is less serious in the same 
degree as creating is less serious than dissi- 
pating. On the other hand, girls have 
immense disadvantages. They grow old I 
For many of them, if not for most, this is a 

Digitized by t^OOfflC 



genuine tragedy. Their share in the vast 
business of producing the next generation 
is incomparably heavier than that of men. 
And also, whatever their financial indepen- 
dence may have been before marriage, they 
generally lose it after marriage. Financially, 
the average wife is little better than helpless. 

On the whole, I consider that the dis- 
advantages of being a woman outweigh the 
advantages. I think that women, during 
the major part of their lives, have a some- 
what harder time of it than men. I have 
not yet met a man who really regretted that 
he had not been born a woman ; but I have 
met many and many a woman who really 
regretted that she had not been born a man. 

Finally, marriage is always a captivity ; 
it may be and often is delightful, unique in 
its satisfactoriness ; but it is a captivity, 
and sometimes a terrible captivity. And 
nearly invariably it is more of a captivity 
for the wife than for the husband. 

Hence we arrive at the triple conclusion : 
that maidens desire marriage more than men 
do ; that, being numerically superior, they 
have a more restricted choice than men ; 
and that as a consequence of her financial 
dependence and of her liabilities as a mother, 
an unsuccessful marriage will bear more 
hardly upon the wife than upon the husband. 

I maintain, therefore, that the girl has 
more cause even than the young man to 
bring her reason into play immediately and 
without the slightest delay when her affec- 
tions begin to be engaged. I doubt whether 
a woman is less calculating than a man 
before her affections are caught, but I am 
quite sure that, once her affections are 
caught, she can be more devoted than a man, 
more sacrificial, and more capable of grief. 

It would be absurd to attempt general 
advice to women about men. Tastes differ 
infinitely, and there are mysteries in marriage 
incomprehensible save to the two people 
chiefly concerned. No one can safely predict 
that a given man will not prove satisfactory 
to a given woman. 

But one generalization may be suggested 
without excessive rashness. Beware of any 
man whom men do not like. Such men often 
please women ; they absolutely fascinate 
women ; they seem to mesmerize ; they 
are adored to the point of ecstasy. But never 
for long. A moment always comes when 
the woman learns, as a rule to her cost, 
that the general masculine judgment was 
right. There may be exceptions to this 
rule, but for myself I have not met one. 

I would venture no other generalization. 
All else that can be said in this connection 
amounts to a vague warning against shutting 
the eyes and rushing forward until the 
heart has obtained complete control and 
reason has been reduced to a nonentity. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Arnold Bennett 



249 



A queer false shame adversely influences 
the earthly relations of a man and a girl 
who have at the back of their minds some 
idea of ultimately p marrying each other, 
And the girl usually has more of this false 
shame than the men. Conversations, instead 
of being serious, are superficial ; and the 
exhibition of a legitimate curiosity on vital 
matters is genteelly avoided. The girl 
should acquire knowledge concerning not 
merely the financial status of the possible 
man, but about his health and about his 
tastes, particularly about his tastes. For 
she will be more at the mercy of his tastes 
than he of hers. 

Of course, no social interchanges can 
go on without some useful information 
being obtained. And yet it is astonishing, 
it is pathetic, the small quantity of informa- 
tion that actually is obtained. Lots of 
couples enter into the most solemn com- 
pact that exists, and they know no more 
of each other than their respective pre- 
ferences in furniture and 111 
theatrical entertainments. 

And now, when, for good 
or evil, the choice 
has been made y^""* 
and the compact 
sealed, the ^ * J 

young ^^?'#^ 
woman ^gj^*. \ 
should be- ' 
think her- 
self con- 
scientiously 
of a matter 
which has a 
greater in- 
fluence upon 
the success or 
failure of mar- 
riage than any- 
thing else lying 
outside the 
affections. Be- 
fore he is ac- 
cepted as a 
fi a n c i t the 
young man 
must put his 
cards on the 
table, He must 
reasonably de- 
monstrate his 
ability to main- 
tain a wife and 
a house?j old 
in a satisfactory 
demonstrate this 




to his incompetent arms. He expects to 
be called upon for this demonstration, 
and neither he nor anybody else is surprised 
at the insistence on the ordeah But sup- 
posing that, when the couple had arrived 
at an unspoken or spoken understanding, 
the young man's mother were to send for 
the young woman and say to her : " You 
want to marry my son. Which means that 
you will have to run his house for him and 
bring up his children, I must request you to 
prove to me that you can run a house, 
manage servants, buy food economically, 
cook it attractively, make rooms attractive, 
keep order, he punctual," etc., etc. 
Naturally the girl would be startled, 
But she would have no right to be startled. 
The error into which innumerable girls fall 
is of expecting the man to bring various 
important things to the marriage while for- 
getting that they, too, have re- 
sponsibilities to discharge and 
duties to fulfil in an accomplished 
manner. Girls are too apt to 
imagine that in giving their hearts 
they have given 
all that the 
mutual bargain 
of marriage de- 
mands from 
them. It very 
emphatically is 
not so. 

Love is enor- 
mous ; but love 
is not 
e nough. 
;* To be a 



You want lo matry my son. I must request you 
to prove to me that you can run a house.** 



manner, If he cannot 
there is trouble, and he 
may be asked what he impudently means 
by expecting a girl accustomed to comfort 
and all the proprieties to entrust herself 



wife is a 
pro f es- 
sion, and 
a skilled 
and a learned pro- 
f c s s i o n at that, 
While she is engaged 
in loving the young 
woman should also 
be engaged in more 
material and earthly 
affairs. And you may 
cry out against reason 
and practicality and 
mechanical ho u se- 
ll old efficiency as 
much as you please — 
there is nothing like 
these for supporting 
and preserving love 
in its fight against time. 

The tendency of the age is towards mar- 
riages of reason, A good tendency I But 
courtships of reason are equally to be 
desired 



MR. ARNOLD BENNETT'S NEXT ARTICLE Wl 



w#f.&.ff 



AGE/ 



25° 



THE SINISTER QUEST 
OF NORMAN GREYES 



& 



E PHILLIPS 
OPPENHEIM 



CNARl£S CROMBJS 



No. 10— THE MYSTERY ADVERTISEMENT. 

MICHAEL TELLS THE WHOLE STORY. 



IT has always been my custom, as a 
notorious and much - sought - after 
criminal, to give special care to 
the building up of a new identity. 
It is my success in the various impersona- 
tions I have attempted which has enabled 
me for many years to completely puzzle 
that highly astute body of men leagued 
together under the auspices of Scotland 
Yard. 

After my brief but successful career as 
Colonel Escombe, of the Indian Army, I 
determined upon a complete change of 
characterization and cirt umstances, I 
established myself in modest rooms at the 
back of Russell Square, took a small office 
at the top of a block of buildings in Hoi born, 
had cards and stationery printed and a brass 
plate engraved, and made a fresh appearance 
in the Metropolis of my fancy as Mr. Sidney 
Buckross, jobbing stationer, I cannot say 
that my operations made very much im- 
pression upon the trade which I had adopted. 
I transferred a thousand pounds to my 
credit at a well-known London bank, wrote 
myself several letters a day, which I opened 
and replied to at my office, sallied out with 
a small black bag soon after ten, and, with 
the exception of a leisurely hour for my 
midday meal, spent the rest of my time in 
the safe seclusion of the British Museum. 

I re-established a new hobby. In the 
intervals of idleness which the spasmodic 
activities of my profession had entailed, I 
had always been fascinated by the subject of 
ciphers. I knew perfectly well, for instance, 
that half the advertisements in the Personal 
Column of the Times contained, to the 
person for w T hose eyes they were intended, a 
meaning utterly different from their obvious 



one. For example, one afternoon, aftei 
having wasted a score of sheets of paper and 
an immense amount of ingenuity, I was able 
at last to find the real message conveyed 
under this absurd medley of words ; — 

" Charles. What you require may he found 
in 1749. Laughing Eyes bids you have 
courage. Bring James/ 1 

With only one word of the cipher at first 
clear to me, I looked upon it as something oi 
a triumph when I was able to # extract from 
this rubbish the following message : — 

" Lady in green, man dinner jacket and 
white tit* Frascaii r s 8 o'clock Monday, Wilt 
bri ng docu me nts. Have currency." 

The announcement interested me. If 
these documents were worth money to the 
person to whom this invitation was addressed, 
they were probably worth money to me. I 
decided, without a moment's hesitation, that 
I would meet the lady in green and the 
gentleman in a dinner coat and white tie on 
Monday at Frascati's, notwithstanding the 
shock to my sartorial instincts which the 
costume of the latter was likely to inflict. 
My only trouble was, not to clash with the 
person for whom the advertisement was 
really intended. At this I could only make 
an attempt, I inserted the following adver- 
tisement in the Personal Column of th^ 
Times on the following morning : — 

" Frascati's 7 not 8." 

The upshot I was compelled to leave to fa.te. 

AT ten minutes to seven on Monday 
^ evening I arrived at the restaurant in- 
dicated f I ordered a table for three and 
the best dinner the place could offer. The 
moment I stepped back into the reception- 
room I recognized, beyond a shadow of 

Phillips i Opp^nH^hrq^ 



us Uppen.iciLffi 

UNTVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



251 



doubt, my prospective guests. The man 
was a powerful-looking fellow, with large, 
clumsy limbs, a rtass of untidy hair, a 
bushy brown moustache streaked with grey, 
a somewhat coarse complexion, and bulbous 
eyes. He wore, gracelessly, the costume 
which the advertisement had indicated. 
The woman in green had somewhat over- 
done her colour scheme. There was a green 
plush band in her hair and she wore an 
evening gown of the same colour, cut very 
low and distinguished by a general air of 
tawdriness. She was, or rather had been, 
good-looking in a bold, flamboyant sort of 
way, and she had still a profusion of yellow 
hair. They both stared at me when they saw 
me looking around, and with a little inward 
shiver I took the plunge. I went boldly up 
to them and shook hands. 

" I have ordered dinner," I announced. 
" Will you let me show you the way ? " 

They accepted the situation without 
demur, and viewed the gold-topped bottle 
in the ice-pail, and the other arrangements 
for their entertainment, with considerable 
satisfaction. 

" I must say you're not quite the sort of 
chap we expected to find, is he, Lizzie ? " 
the man remarked, as he seated himself 
heavily and performed wonderful operations 
with his napkin. " I thought all your lot 
were water drinkers." 

I smiled. 

" We are often misunderstood/' I ven- 
tured. 

WE settled down and took stock of one 
another. The woman looked approv- 
ingly at my black tie and pearl studs. 
I have made it a rule never to be without a 
supply of the right sort of clothes. 

" I'm sure, if I may say so, it's much 
more agreeable to do business with a gentle- 
man," she remarked, with a sidelong glance 
at me. " Makes one feel so much more at 
home." 

" Cocktails, too ! " her companion ex- 
claimed, cheerfully, as the wine waiter 
approached with a silver tray. " You're 
doing us proud and no mistake." 

I bowed and drank their healths. A 
cordial but cryptic silence seemed to me to 
be my best idle. I had always the fear, 
however, of the other man arriving before 
the business part of our meeting had been 
broached. So as soon as the effects of the 
wine had begun to show themselves in some 
degree, I ordered another bottle and leaned 
confidentially forward. 

" You have brought the documents with 
you ? " I asked. 

" You don't think we are out to make an 
April fool of a gentleman like you ! " the Lady 
replied, with a languishing glance. " But 



I would like you to understand this, Mr. — 
Mr. " 

" Martin," I suggested. 

" Mr. Martin," she went on. " I would 
never have rounded on Ted if he had kept 
straight. He and I didn't get on, and that's 
the long and short of it. He was all right so 
far as the drink was concerned, and I never 
saw him look at another woman in his life. 
All the same, Mr. Martin, for a woman of my 
temperament he was no fitting sort of a 
husband." 

I felt a moment's sympathy for Ted. The 
lady, however, had more to say. 

" When first he started those proceedings 
for divorce," she went on, dropping her 
voice a little and adopting a more intimate 
manner, " I was knocked altogether silly 
like. You know that, Jim, wasn't I ? " she 
added, appealing to her male companion. 

" Same here," he growled. " I'd have 
broken his blooming 'ead if I'd thought he 
was having us watched." 

" And it's a broken head he'll get, the way 
he's going on, if he's not careful," the woman 
continued, truculently. " Talk about making 
him a Cabinet Minister, indeed, and me left 
without a penny just because he got his 
divorce I I'll show him ! " 

" To revert for a moment to the docu- 
ments," I ventured. 

The lady touched a soiled, shabby hand- 
bag, opened it, and gazed inside for a moment. 

" They're here all right," she announced 
in a tone of satisfaction. " Mixed up with 
my powder and rouge and what not. You 
shall have them presently, Mr. Martin." 

" That is, if you are prepared to part," 
the man intervened. " Cash down and no 
humbug about it." 

" Part ? Of course he's prepared to 
part ! " the woman declared, sharply. 
" Wouldn't be here if he weren't. That's 
right, isn't it, Mr. Martin ? " 

II Naturally," I agreed. " I have brought 
a considerable amount of money with me, 
quite as much as I can afford to part with, 
and the only question left for me to decide is 
whether the documents are worth it." 

" You talk as if you were doing this little 
job on your own," she remarked, looking 
at me curiously. 

" I have to be as careful as though I were," 
I replied. " 1 am sure you can understand 
that." 

Her escort laughed coarsely. 

" I guess you'll see there's some pickings 
left for yourself," he observed. " You 
know what I heard your boss say at Liver- 
pool once." 

" That will do, Jim," the woman inter- 
rupted, impatiently. " Remember we are 
here for business." 

I returned to the subject of our meeting. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



ZJ2 



The Sinister Quest 



"I think/' 1 suggested, "the time has 
arrived when you might allow me to glance 
through those documents/' 

The woman looked across the table at her 
companion , He nodded 
assent. 

" No harm in that, so 
far as I can see/* he ob- 
served. M There's all in 
them as I promised ( and 
a trifle more. Enough to 
cook Ted's goose, and his 
swell friend's/' 

The woman opened her 
hand-bag and produced a 
dozen pages of typewritten 
manuscript, soiled and a 
little tattered, 

11 Just cast your ** 

eye over that first/' 
she invited. "That's 
an exact copy of 
the speech which 
led prepared for 
the mass meeting 
in Liverpool in 
March. " 

1 In Liverpool/' 1 
repeated, hoping for 
some elucidation. 

1 ' The m e e t i n g 
that was called to 
decide upon the 
shipping strike/' 
she explained, ■ 
little impatiently, 

I glanced through 
the typewritten 
pages. They seemed 
to consist of a vehe- 
ment appeal to the 
dockers, bonders, and 
Union of Seamen to 
inaugurate on the 
following day the 
greatest strike in his- 
tory, promising them 
the support of the 
miners and rail way - 
men, and predicting 

the complete defeat oi the Government 
within six weeks. The speech concluded 
with a peroration full of extreme revolu- 
tionary sentiments, and on a blank page at 
the end, under the heading of +1 Approved of," 
were the signatures of a dozen of the best- 
known men in the Labour world, 

' This speech " I began, tentatively, for 

the matter was not yet clear to me. 

' Was never delivered, of course/' the man 
interrupted. ' You know all about that 
Ted went down to Liverpool as mild as a 
iamb. He stood up there on the platform 
and told them that the present moment was 



of Norman Greyes 

inopportune for a strike. Not only thst, 
but the next day he bamboozled them into 
accepting the employers' terms." 

11 Satisfactory so far as it goes/ 1 I observe d 




tb If we make a deal and you part with these 
documents to me, what use do you expect 
me to make of them?" 

" Any use you choose, so long as you pay 
enough," the woman answered, bluntly. 



\ 



didactically, but with caution. * And now 



"Here/ 1 the woman interrupted trium 
phantly p " is Lord Kindersley 's letter, dt 
live red to Ted that afternoon in Liverpool/ 

I read the letter, dated from South And ley 
Street, and its opening phrases were illu 
m illative. 1 knew now that Ted was Mr 
Edward Rend all, the present leader of the 
Labour Party in the House of Commons. 

ib My dear Mr. Rend all/ r it began, 

" This letter, which I am dispatching 
by aeroplane mts&mg&r, will reach you, 1 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



253 



trust, before you address the meeting this 
evening* The matter with which it is con- 
cerned cannot be dealt with by the Federation 
of Shipowners, but, confirming our recent 
conversations, Sir Philip Richardson and I 
are willing, between us, to advance to-morrow 
bank-notes to the value of fifty thousand 
pounds 7 to be paid to the funds of your cause 




or to be made use of in any way you thtnh 
fit, provided the strike threatened for to 
morrow does not take place . 

Faithfully yours, 
Geoffrey Kindersley. 

P.S. — In your own interests, as welt as ours, 
I suggest that you immediately destroy this 
tetter. 



by Google 



Things were now becoming quite clear to 
me. I even began to wonder if I had brought 
enough money, 

" As a matter of curiosity/ 1 I asked, " why 
did your husband not take Lord Kindersley's 
advice and destroy this letter ? " 

The woman laughed unpleasantly. There 
was mingled cunning and self-satisfaction in 
her expression, 

M He U>ld me to," she replied, "As a 
matter of fact, he thought he saw me tear 
it up. It was just at the time that I was 
beginning to have my suspicions of Master 
Ted, so 1 tore up a circular instead, and 
put this by for a bit," 

" A pretty clever stroke of work, too," 
the man opposite murmured, with an approv- 
ing grin. tf You put a rod in 
pickle for Ted that day, Lizzie." 

" And serve him right, too/' the 
lady remarked, glancing in her 
mirror and making some trifling 
rearrangement of her coiffure. 

There was a brief silence. The 
man drew his chair a little closer 
to the table and addressed me with 
a business -like air. 

" Now, Mr, Martin, or whatever 
your name is, let's finish this job 
up/* he proposed, " You've got 
a copy of the speech that Ted 
Kendall promised his pals to deliver 
at Liverpool, typed at Mrs, Sitnons's 
office, number twenty-three, Dale 
Street. You've got the original 
letter from Lord Kindersley, proving 
up to the hilt why he didn't deliver 
it, and/' he went on, striking the 
table with his fist ± " I am now 
going to tell you that that fifty 
thousand pounds was handed over 
to Ted at the National Liberal 
Club the following evening at six 
o'clock, and was paid in by him, 
to his own credit, to five different 
banks on the following morning. 
The names of the banks are there, 
in pencil, on the back of Lord 
Kindersley r s letter." 
" And when I asked him for a hundred a 
year to keep me respectable," the woman 
declared, with an angry colour rising to 
her cheeks, " he sent my letter back through 
his Lawyers, without a word." 

I leaned back in my chair and feJt my 
way a lit tie farther. 

" If we make a deal and you part with 
these documents to me/' I said, Hi what 
use do you expect me to make of them ? " 

" Any use you choose, so long as you pay 
enough," the woman answered, bluntly. 

" We know pretty well whom you're 
acting for," the man put in, with a knowing 
grin. " 1 guess it won't be long before 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



254 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



Charlie Payton handles these documents, if 
we come to terms." 

" Yoj have no conditions to make ? " I 
asked. 

" None ! " the woman snapped. " I've 
finished with Ted. He's a cur. You can 
publish the whole lot in the papeis if ycu 
iike, for all I care." 

" Then there remains only the question of 
price," I concluded. 

The flush of wine and the momentary 
expansiveness of good feeding seemed to 
pass from the faces of my two guests. A 
natural and anxious cupidity took its place. 
They feared to ask too little ; they were 
terrified lest they might scare me away by 
asking too much. 

" They'd be worth a pretty penny to 
Ted," the woman muttered. 

" You don't want to sell them to him," I 
pointed out. 

" I don't, and that's a fact," she admitted. 
" Look here, Mr. Martin, they're yours for 
a thousand pounds." 

A thousand pounds was precisely the sum 
I had brought with me. Without remark, I 
counted out the notes and pocketed the 
documents. The man and woman seemed 
very surprised at this uneventful finish to 
the proceedings. The latter tucked away 
the notes in her handbag whilst I paid the 
bill. When I rose to take leave of them 
I could see, standing in the doorway and 
looking at us with a puzzled expression, a 
middle-aged man who I decided at once 
was the individual whom I had impersonated. 

" The business is over, and, I trust, 
pleasantly," I said. " Will you forgive me 
if I take my leave ? There are others who 
are anxious to hear from me." 

The woman clutched her bag with her 
left hand and extended her right. 

" Well, I'm sure you've been quite the 
gentleman, Mr. — Mr. — let me see, what was 
the name ? " 

" Well, it doesn't matter, does it," I 
replied, " especially as it was only assumed 
for the evening. Good night and good luck 
to you both," I added, as I made my escape. 

There was a fine rain falling outside, but 
I walked steadily on, obsessed with the sudden 
desire for fresh air. The atmosphere of the 
place I had left, the character of my com- 
panions, the sordid ignominy of the trans- 
action which I had just concluded, had filled 
me with disgust. Then I began to laugh 
foftly to myself. It was a queer anomaly, 
this, that I, the notorious criminal for whom 
the police of the world were always searching, 
should feel distaste at so ordinary an ill-deed. 
I had robbed, and struck ruthlessly enough, 
in my time, at whoever might stand in 
my way, but, as a matter of fact, black- 
mailing was the one malpractice which had 



never happened to come my way. In any 
case, as I reminded myself, the ignominious 
part of the affair was over. Its continua- 
tion was likely to appeal more both to my 
sense of humour an.d my natural instinct 
for cruelty. Over a late whisky-and-soda 
that night in my room, I began to build my 
plans. It seemed to me that the career of 
Mr. Edward Rendall, M.P., and the reputa- 
tion of Lord Kindersley were equally in 
my hands. It was surely not possible that 
the two combined would not produce a 
reasonable profit upon my outlay of a 
thousand pounds. As I sat and smoked 
another idea occurred to me, and before I 
retired to rest I wrote a long letter of instruc- 
tions to Mr. Younghusband. 

I REMAINED at my ofl&ce in Holborn on 
the following morning until I heard from 

Mr. Younghusband upon the telephone. 
As usual he was most formal, addressing 
me as though I were one of his ordinary 
and respected clients. It was obvious, how- 
ever, that he was perturbed. 

" I have carried out your instructions to 
the letter, Mr. — er — Buckross," he announced, 
" but the magnitude of the operation which 
you have ventured upon has, I confess, rather 
staggered me." 

" Let me know exactly what you have 
done," I said. 

" I have sold," he continued, M on your 
account, through various firms of stock- 
brokers, twenty-five thousand ordinary shares 
in the Kindersley Shipping Company at six 
pounds each. Fortunately, there is no 
immediate prospect of a rise in shares of 
this description, and I was able to arrange 
to leave cover amounting to only ten shillings 
a share — namely, twelve thousand five 
hundred pounds." 

" Very good," I assented. " What is the 
price just now ? " 

" The shares have dropped a trifle, 
naturally," the lawyer replied, " owing to 
your operations. The stockbroker, how- 
ever, at whose office I now am, advises me 
to disregard that fact. He thinks that they 
will probably recover during the day." 

" Just so ! When is settlement day ? " 

" On the fourth. Apropos of that, the 
various brokers with whom I have had deal- 
ings on your behalf dtsire to know whether 
you would wish to close your transactions, 
or any portion of them, during the next 
few days if a profit of, say, a quarter a share 
is shown." 

" Not on any account," I insisted. " The 
transaction must remain exactly as it is 
until I gi\e the word." 

I rang off, filled my bag, as usual, with 
stationery samples, and took the Tube to 
Bond Street, whence I walked to South 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



E. Phillips Oppenheim 



-255 



Audley Street. Upon arrival at my des- 
tination, I was informed, by an imposing- 
looking butler, that Lord Kindersley was at 
home, but it was scarcely likely that he would 
receive me unless I had an appointment. I 
risked the butler's being human, and bought 
my way as far as the waiting-room. Once 
arrived there, I managed to impress an 
untidy and bespectacled secretary with the 
idea that it might be worth Lord Kinders- 
ley's while to spare me a few minutes of his 
time. In the end I was ushered into the 
great man's sanctum. 

" What can I do for you — er — Mr. Buck- 
ross ? " he inquired, glancing at my card. 

I was anxious to test my new identity 
and I stood full in the light. It was obvious, 
however, that Lord Kindersley had not an 
idea that we had ever met before. He did 
not connect the slightly nervous business 
man who now addressed him with the wood - 
man-chauffeur who had brought him safely 
from the Foret du Dom to England. 

" I have come to see you on a very serious 
matter, Lord Kindersley," I said, " and I 
am anxious that there should be no mis- 
understanding. I do not wish for a penny 
of your money. I am here, in fact, to save 
you from the loss of a great deal of it. My 
visit, nevertheless, has a very serious side." 

He looked at me steadily from under his 
bushy eyebrows. 

" Go on," he invited, curtly. 

" Last March," I continued, " you averted 
the threatened shipping strike and saved 
yourself the loss of at least one of your 
millions by bribing a well-known Labour 
leader to declare for peace instead of war. 
You and one other great shipowner were 
alone concerned in this matter. That other 
man, 1 gather, is dead." 

Lord Kindersley was looking at me with 
a queer look in his eyes. I realized suddenly 
how heavily pouched they were underneath, 
how unwholesome the power of his face. 
His voice, when he answered me, was 
unsteady. 

" What on earth are you talking about ? " 

I TOOK the two documents from my 
pocket and moved a little nearer to him. 
" Here," I said, " is Rendall's proposed 
speech, counselling the strike and signed 
by the leaders of the various Unions. Here, 
also, is your letter to Kendall, making him 
the offer of fifty thousand pounds to with- 
hold it, which sum was paid to him the next 
evening at the National Liberal Club." 

All the initial affability and condescension 
had gone from Lord Kindersley's manner. 
He looked like a man on the verge of a 
collapse. 

" My God ! " he muttered. M Rendall 
swore that he had destroyed my letter ! M 

Digitized by VjOOQ I C 



" He instructed his wife to do so. She 
retained it for her own purposes. A few 
months ago her husband divorced her. 
This is her revenge. She has sold the copy 
of the speech and the letter to me. I know, 
also, the other facts in connection with the 
case." 

Lord Kindersley took out his handkerchief 
and mopped his forehead. Already he 
began to see his way. 

" I will buy those documents from you," 
he proposed. 

" Your lordship," I replied, " I am not a 
blackmailer." 

" You shall receive the money quite 
safely," he went on, eagerly. " I should not 
dream of communicating with the police. 1 
shall look upon it as an equitable business 
transaction. Name your price. I am not 
a mean man." 

" Neither, as I remarked before, am I a 
blackmailer," I persisted. " My use for 
these letters is predestined. They go to the 
Press." 

Lord Kindersley sprang to his feet. 

" What good will that do you ? " he 
demanded, hoarsely. 

" Not very much financially, perhaps," I 
acknowledged. " On the other hand, I know 
one newspaper, I think, which would pay 
me a large sum for them. " 

He brushed the idea on one side. 

"Listen," he said, impressively. "No 
newspaper would deal with you as liberally 
as I am prepared to. Those documents must 
not be published. If it were generally known 
that I had bribed Rendall to hold up that 
speech, the Unions would declare war against 
me to-morrow. Not a man would stay in 
my employ. Besides, it would bring dis- 
credit upon my Party. It would ruin me 
politically as well as actually. Come now, 
Mr. Buckross, you look like a business man. 
Let's talk business. I'll write you a cheque 
for ten thousand pounds this morning." 

" Your lordship," I replied, " if I dealt with 
you in the way you suggest, it would amount 
to a criminal offence. My conscience forbids 
it. I can deal with the Press fairly and 
openly. Your political ruin I cannot help. 
Your financial ruin I may help you to modify. 
I offer you four days' grace, during which 
time you had better get rid of as many of 
your shares in the Kindersley Shipping 
Company as you can." 

" You promise to do nothing for four 
days ? " Lord Kindersley exclaimed, eagerly. 

" I promise." 

He leaned back in his chair and mopped his 
forehead. 

" Well, that's a respite, at any rate," he 
said. " Now, Mr. Buckross, you and I have 
got to understand one another on this deal." 

" We shall never get any nearer under- 



■_■ 1 1 y 1 1 1 a 1 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



256 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



standing one another than we 
are at present," I assured 
him. 

" Rubbish ! " lie answered. 
M What I want you to do is 
to get that blackmailing idea 
out of your head. You have 
something to sell and I want 
to buy it. It's a com- 
mercial transaction, pure 
and simple, and the end 
and aim of all commercial 
transactions is to obtain 
the best price possible 
for what you have to 
selh I mentioned ten 
thousand pounds, It 
seemed to me a comfort- 
able little sum, but 1 
can afford more, if 
necessary. Look here, 
stay and have lunch 
with me, and we'll 
discuss the matter 
over a 1 cigar and a 
glass of wine/' 

"I should be 
taking your lunch 
under false pre- 
tences/' I replied, 
rising and buttoning 
my coat. ■" You shall 
have the four days' 
grace which I have 
promised." 

He followed 
to the door p en- 
treating me for 
my address. So 
convinced was 
he that 1 would 
change my 
mind that he * 
sent his secre- 
tary out into 
the street after 
me. In the end 
I made my 
escape by pro- 
mising to see 
him again on 
the evening of 
the third day. 
I made the 
promise in my one 
moment of w< ■;■ kn- 
it occurred to me 
that it would give 
me pleasure if, by 
any chance, I should 
see, for a moment, 
the girl whose cour- 
age was of so fine a 
quality that she 




He followed me to 

by Google 



neither feared a 
hideous death on 
the verge of a preci- 
pice nor disgrace in 
a London drawing- 
room. 

I took my usual 
leisurely Junch and 
afterwards made 
my way to the 
uninspiring neigh- 
bourhood of 
Streathanu " The 
Towers/' which I 
had discovered 
from a book of 
reference to be Mr. 
Edward Kendall's 
a d dress, was a 
hopelessly vulgar 
edifice of grey 
stone , approa c he d 
by w T hat is gener- 
ally described as a 
short carriage 
drive. An untidy- 
looking servant 
admitted me, after 
some delay, and 
escorted me across 
a linoje urn-covered 
hall, odoriferous of 
a hot meal, to a 
small study at the 
back of the house, 
filled with shoddy 
furniture and hung 
with imitation 
prints- The popu- 
lar M.R t as was 
his boast , was not 
in the least difficult 
of access. He came 
into the room with- 
in a few minutes, a 
pipe in his mouth, 
and giving evidence 
of all the easy 
good -nature which 
befitted his posi- 
tion. 

Ci Don't know 
who you are, Mr. 
Buckross, 3 ' he said, 
noticing with some 
surprise that I had 
not availed myself 
of the opportunity 
of shaking hands 
with him, '* but sit 



the door, entreating me for my address. So 

out into Ihe 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



E, Phillips Oppenheim 



257 



down, and welcome. What can I do for you ? " 

M I have brought you bad news, Mi\ 
Rendall," I announced. 

ri The devil you have ! " he answered, 
removing his pipe from his teeth and staring 
at me. " Who are you, any way ? I don't 
seem to recognke your name." 

' That really doesn't matter," I replied. 
" You can call me a journalist, if you like. 
It's as near the truth as anything about 
myself that I N m likely to tell you. Something 
very disagreeable in going to happen to you 
on the fourth day from now, and p as 1 am 
partly responsible for it, I have come out 
here to give you a word of warning." 

" You're getting at me/' he protested, 
uneasily. 

" Not in the least/' I assured him, " The 
facts to which I allude are these. I have in 
my possession a copy of the speech which 
you ought to have made at Liverpool last 
March and didn't, and also the original 
letter from Lord Kindersley offering you 
fifty thousand pounds to hold it up. I also 
know that you received that money on the 
following evening at the National Liberal 
Club, and I know what banks you entrusted 
it to." 



Kendal] was, I believe, at heart, just as 
much of a coward as Kindersley, but he 
showed it in a different fashion. 

" You d— — d, lying blackmailer ! " he 
shouted, ** How dare you come here with 
such a story 1 Get out of the house or I'll 
throw you down the steps. 1 ' 

" I have fulfilled my mission," I told him. 
" I shall be very glad indeed to go." 

1 Stop : " he shouted, us 1 turned towards 
the door. " How did you come by this cock- 
and-bull story ? " 

" How should I have come by it at all 
unless it were the truth ? ±J I answered. 
" The whole world will know the facts soon 
enough. I obtained the papers from your 
wife." 

" That's a lie, then," he declared, trucu- 
lently, "for I saw her destroy the letter.'' 

I smiled. The man, after all, was poor 
sport, 

" She deceived you," I replied. M You 
saw her destroy a circular. She kept the 




convinced was 
street after me. 

Vi>L \xW.-U. 



that 1 would 



change my mind 



that he sent his secretary 
Original from 
UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



2 5 8 The Sinister Quest of Norman Greyes 



letter. Perhaps she had her reasons. I 
bought it irom her and another man at 
Frascati's Restaurant last night." 

Conviction seized upon Mr. Edward Ren- 
dall, and, with conviction, fear. 

" Look here," he proposed, " let's sit 
down and talk this over. I'll tell the girl 
to bring in cigars and a drop of whisky." 

14 I have not the least idea of accepting 
any hospitality from you,", I assured him. 
" The documents are going to the Press in 
four days' time. I came here to give you 
that much notice." 

His eyes narrowed a little. 

" How do I know that the whole thing 
isn't a kid ? " he said, suspiciously. " Have 
you got them with you ? " 

" I have," I told him. 

He attempted nothing in the way of 
subtlety. He relied, I suppose, upon his 
six feet and his brawny shoulders. He came 
at me like a bull, head down and fists swinging. 
It was a very ridiculous encounter. 

NEXT morning there were sensational 
paragraphs in most of the financial pa- 
pers. Shipping shares all reacted slightly . 
in sympathy, but the slump in Kindersley's 
was a thing no one could account for. They 
had fallen from six to five within twenty-four 
hours, and as soon as I reached my office in 
Hoi torn I received frantic messages from 
Mr. Younghusband, imploring me to close 
with a profit of over twenty thousand pounds. 
There was nothing whatever wrong with the 
shares, he assured me, and they were bound 
to rally. I listened to all he had to say, gave 
him positive instructions not to disturb my 
operations in any way, and, disregarding his 
piteous protests, rang off and made my way 
to the great newspaper offices, where my 
business of the morning lay. 

It took me an hour to get as far as the 
assistant editor. He was a lean man, with 
horn-rimmed spectacles and an inevitable 
sequence of cigarettes. He told me frankly 
that I had as much chance of seeing the 
editor as the Pope. So I told him my story 
and showed him the documents. He went 
out of the room for a moment and returned 
with the editor. They looked at me curiously. 

" Who are you, Mr. Buckross ? " the 
editor asked. 

" A speculator," I answered. " I bought 
those papers from Rendall's divorced wife. 
She has a spite against him." 

" How can one be sure that they are 
genuine ? " 

" Anyone who studies them must know 
that they are," I replied. " If you want 
confirmation, I told Lord Kindersley yester- 
day of their existence and forthcoming 
publication, and advised him to sell as 
many of his shares as possible. Your finan- 



cial column will tell you the rest of the 
story." 

The two men whispered together for some 
time. Then the editor, who was a grey- 
haired, clean-shaven man, with a mouth 
like a rat-trap and a voice like a military 
martinet, drew up an easy-chair and seated 
himself by my side. 

" What do you want us to do with these 
documents, Mr. Buckross ? " he asked. 

" I want you to give me a very large sum 
of money for them, and then publish them," 
I replied. 

" You know that there will be the devil 
of a row ? " 

" That will be your look-out. Their 
genuineness will be your justification." 

The editor looked thoughtfully out of the 
window. His face was as hard as granite, 
but he had very grey, human eyes. 

" We should have no compunction about 
bringing the thunders down upon Rendall," 
he said, " but with Lord Kindersley it is a 
little different. He is a considerable and 
reputable figure in Society." 

" He might survive the disclosures," I 
suggested. " After all, there was a certain 
amount of justification for his conduct. He 
averted a national disaster, even if the means 
he used were immoral." 

" A case can be built up for him, certainly," 
the editor remarked, musingly. " What is 
your price for these documents ? " 

" Ten thousand pounds, and they must 
not be used before Thursday," I replied. 

" Why not before Thursday ? " 

" I have given Lord Kindersley so much 
grace." 

" You will leave the documents in our 
hands ? " the editor proposed. 

I considered the matter. I could think of 
nothing likely to alter my plans, but I was 
conscious of a curious aversion to taking the 
irrevocable step. 

" You shall have them," I agreed, " if 
you will give me a letter acknowledging 
that they are my property, and promising 
to return them to me without publication, 
should I desire it, on Wednesday afternoon." 

" What about the money ? " the editor 
asked. " Do you want anything on account ? " 

" You are prepared to give me the ten 
thousand pounds ? " 

He shrugged his shoulders. 

" We never bargain," he said. " There is 
no standard value for such goods as you 
offer. The question is whether you want 
anything in advance ? " 

" No, thank you," I answered. " I'll 
have the whole amount on Wednesday after- 
noon, or the documents back again. I think 
that it will be the money." 

" I trust so/' my two editorial friends 



£. Phillips Oppenheim 



259 



ON Wednesday morning the Kindersley 
Shipping Company shares stood at three 
and three-quarters, and a brief notice in 
the Times announced that his lordship was 
confined to his house in South Audley 
Street, suffering from a severe nervous 
breakdown. Some idiotic impulse prompted 
me, after I had paid my brief visit to my 
cffice, to take a stroll in that direction. A 
doctor's carriage was waiting outside 
Kindersley House, and, as I passed on the 
other side of the way, the front door opened, 
and the doctor himself stood on the thres- 
hold. The thought of Lord Kindersley's 
sufferings had, up to the present, inspired 
in me no other feeling than one of mild 
amusement. By the side of the doctor, 
however, Beatrice Kindersley was standing. 
I knew then that the end of my career must 
be close at hand. I was weakening. My 
nerve had gone. The instincts of childhood 
were returning to me. The morbid curiosity 
which had brought me to the house had 
been gratified with a vengeance. I had 
received a psychological stroke. The girl's 
drawn and tear-stained face had disturbed 
the callousness which I had deemed im- 
pregnable. A new scheme was forcing its 
way into my mind. There was only one 
redeeming point about it all — I walked for 
the next few hours in peril of my life. 

AT half-past two that afternoon Beatrice 
J-\ Kindersley hastened into the little 
morning-room on the ground floor of 
Kindersley House to receive an unexpected 
visitor. Her lips parted in amazement when 
she saw who it was. I held up my finger. 

" Colonel Escombe," I reminded her. 

" You ! " she exclaimed. 

I knew that there was not a flaw in my 
make-up or deportment. I was the Colonel 
Escombe who had attended Norman Greyes' 
wedding, and in connection with whose 
presence there there had been some slight 
question concerning a pearl necklace. 

" What do you want ? " she asked, breath- 
lessly. 

" To help you," I answered. " I saw you 
this morning, and you seemed in trouble." 

She smiled at me gratefully, but a. moment 
later her face was clouded with anxiety. 

" It is dear of you," she said, " but you 
must go away at once. You are running a 
terrible risk. Sir Norman Greyes is in the 
house. He is with my uncle now." 

" What is he doing here ? " I demanded. * 

" My uncle sent for him to see if he could 
help. There is some serious trouble. I don't 



know what it is, but my uncle says that it 
means ruin." 

At the thought of the near presence of 
my old enemy my whole being seemed to 
stiffen. Yet, alas ! the weakness remained. 

" Listen," I said. " What does your distress 
mean ? Has your uncle always been good 
to you ? Is it for his sake that you are 
unhappy ? " 

" Entirely," she answered, without hesita- 
tion. " I know that a great many people 
call him hard and unscrupulous. To me he 
has been the dearest person in the world. 
It makes my heart ache to see him suffer." 

I glanced at my watch. 

"Listen," I said. "Give me five minutes 
to get clear away. When I am gone, give 
him this message. Tell him that Buckross 
has changed his mind and that he will hear 
from him before five o'clock." 

" What have you to do with all this ? " she 
asked, wonderingly. 

" Never mind," I answered. " Be sure 
to give me five minutes, and don't deliver 
my message before Norman Greyes " 

She walked with me to the door, but when 
I would have opened it she checked me. 
Already her step was lighter. She took my 
hands in hers, and I felt her soft breath 
upon my face. 

" I am going to thank you," she whispered. 

It was an absurd interlude. 

BOTH the editor and the assistant editor 
did everything, short of going down on 
their knees, to induce me to change my 
mind. They offered me practically a fortune. 
They hinted, even, that honours might be 
obtained for me. They tried to appeal to my 
patriotism, to every known quality, not 
one of which I possessed. In the end I 
obtained the documents, addressed them 
to Miss Beatrice Kindersley, bought a great 
bunch of fragrant yellow roses, hired a 
messenger to go with me in the taxi-cab, and 
saw them delivered at Kindersley House. 

That night I spent in my room, taking 
stock of myself. On the credit side, my 
deal in Kindersleys had brought me a profit 
of something like thirty thousand pounds, 
likely to be considerably added to as I had 
bought again at four. Further, I had 
abstained from becoming a blackmailer and 
I had knocked Mr. Edward Rendall down. 
On the other hand, I might easily have 
made a hundred thousand pounds — and I 
had behaved like a fool. 

Perhaps the most disquieting feature of 
it all was that I was satisfied with the deal. 



Next month : " The Great Elusion." 
. f^nnnlp Original from 

^^ UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



2 6-.I 



METROPOLITAN 
TOUCH 



BY 



P.G.WODEHOUSE 



NOBODY is more alive 
than I am to the fact 
that young Bingo 
Little is in many respects a. sound 
old egg ; but I must say there .are 
things about him that could be improved, 
The man's too expansive altogether. When 
it comes to letting the world in on the 
secrets of his heart, he has about as 
much shrinking reticence as a steam calliope. 
Well, for instance, here's the telegram I got 
from him one evening in November :■ — 

/ say Bet tie old man I am in love at last. 
She is the most wonderful girl Bertie old man. 
This is the real thing at last Bertie* Come 
here at once and bring Jeeves. Oh I say 
you know that tobacco shop in Bond Street 
on the left side as you go up, Will you get 
me a hundred of their special cigarettes and 
send them to me here. I have run out. I 
know when you see her you will think 
she is the most wonderful girh Mind you 
bring Jeeves. Don't forget the cigarettes, 
— Bingo, 



ILLUSTRATED BY* 
A.WALLJS MILLS 



It had been handed in at Twing Post 
Office. In other words, he had submitted 
that frightful rot to the goggling eye of 
a village post-mistress who was probably 
the mainspring of local gossip and would 
have the place ringing with the news before 
nightfall. He couldn't have given himself 
away more completely if he had hired the 
town-crier. When I was a 1c id, I used to 
read stories about knights and Vikings 
and that species of chappie who would get 
up without a blush in the middle of a crowded 
banquet and loose off a song about how 
perfectly priceless they thought their best 
giri. I've often felt that those days would 
have suited young Bingo down to the 
ground. 

Copyright, i^m, by P. C* W 



Jeeves had brought the thing 
in with the evening drink, and 
I slung it over to him. 

** It's about due, of course/' I said. 
"Young Bingo hasn't been in love for at 
least a couple of months. I wonder who 
it is this time ? " 

" Miss Mary Burgess, sir," said Jeeves , 
44 the niece of the Reverend Mr. Heppenstall, 
She is staying at Twing Vicarage." 

tr Great Scott I " I knew that Jeeves 
knew practically everything in the world, 
but this sounded like second-sight* " How 
do you know that ? M 

" When we were visiting Twing Hall in 
the summer, sir, I formed a somewhat 
close friendship with Mr. Heppens tails 
butler. He is good enough to keep me 
abreast of the local news from time to time. 
From this account , sir N the young lady 
appears to be a very estimable young lady. 
Of a somewhat serious nature, I understand. 
Mr. Little is very $pris t sir* Brookfield, 
my correspondent, writes that last w r eek 
he observed him in the moonlight at an 
advanced hour gazing up at his window." 

" Whose window ? Brookfield's ? " 
* Yes, sir. Presumably under the impres- 
sion that it was the young lady's*" 

"But what the deuce is he doing at 
Twing at all ? " 

,f Mr. Little was compelled to resume his 
old position as tutor to Lord Wickhammers- 
ley's son at Twing Hall, sir. Owing to having 
been unsuccessful in some speculations at 
Hurst Park at the end of October," 

" Good Lord, Jeeves ! Is there anything 
yoti don't know ? " 

" I could not say, sir. 1 * 

I picked up the telegram. 

" I suppose he wants us to go down and 

Wp ^^W3f MICHIGAN 



P. G. Wodehouse 



261 



" That would appear to be his motive 
in dispatching the message, sir." 

" Well, what shall we do ? Go ? " 

" I would advocate it, sir. If I may say 
so, I think that Mr. Little should be encour- 
a ed in this particular matter." 

" You think he's picked a winner this 
time ? " 

" I hear nothing but excellent reports 
of the young lady, sir. I think it is beyond 
question that she would be an admirable 
influence for Mr. Little, should the affair 
come to a happy conclusion. Such a union 
would also, I fancy, go far to restore Mr. 
Little to the good graces of his uncle, the 
young lady being well connected and pos- 
sessing private means. In short, sir, I think 
that if there is anything that we can do 
we should do it." 

" Well, with you behind him," I said, 
" I don't see how he can fail to click." 

" You are very good, sir," said Jeeves. 
" The tribute is much appreciated." 

BINGO met us at Twing station next day, 
and insisted on my sending Jeeves on 
in the car with the bags while he and I 
walked. He started in about the female the 
moment we. had begun to hoof it. 

" She is very wonderful, Bertie. She is 
not one of these flippant, shallow-minded 
modern girls. She is sweetly grave and 
beautifully earnest. She reminds me of — 
what is the name I want ? " 

" Marie Lloyd ? " 

" Saint Cecilia," said young Bingo, eyeing 
me with a good deal of loathing. " She 
reminds me of Saint Cecilia. She makes me 
yearn to be a better, nobler, deeper, broader 
man." 

" What beats me," I said, following up 
a train of thought, " is what principle you 
pick them on. The girls you fall in love with, 
I mean. I mean to say, what's your system ? 
As far as I can see, no two of them are alike. 
First it was Mabel the waitress, then Honoria 
Glossop, then that fearful blister Charlotte 
Corday Rowbotham " 

I own that Bingo had the decency to 
shudder. Thinking of Charlotte always made 
me shudder, too. 

" You don't seriously mean, Bertie, that 
you are intending to compare the feeling 
I have for Mary Burgess, the holy devotion, 
the spiritual " 

" Oh, all right, let it go," I said. " I say, 
old lad, aren't we going rather a long way 
round ? " 

Considering that we were supposed to 
be heading for Twing Hall, it seemed to me 
that we were making a longish job of it. 
The Hall is about two miles from the station 
by the mpin road, and we had cut off down 
a lane, gone across country for bit, climbed 

Digitized by v.** 



a stile or two, and were now working our 
way across a field that ended in another 
lane. 

" She sometimes takes her little brother 
for a walk round this way," explained Bingo. 
" I thought we would meet her and bow, 
and you could see her, you know, and then 
we would walk on." 

" Of course," I said, " that's enough 
excitement for anyone, and undoubtedly 
a corking reward for tramping three miles 
out of one's way over ploughed fields with 
tight boots, but don't we do anything else ? 
Don't we tack on to the girl and buzz along 
with her ? " 

14 Good Lord ! " said Bingo, honestly 
amazed. " You don't suppose I've got 
nerve enough for that, do you ? I just look 
at her from afar and all that sort oi 
thing. Quick! Here she comes! No, I'm 
wrong ! " 

It was like that song of Harry Lauder's 
where he's waiting for the girl and says 
" This is her-r-r. No, it's a rabbut." Young 
Bingo made me stand there in the teeth of 
a nor'-east hall-gale for ten minutes, keeping 
me on my toes with a series of false alarms, 
and I was just thinking of suggesting that 
we should lay off and give the rest of the 
proceedings a miss, when round the corner 
there came a fox-terrier, and Bingo quivered 
like an aspen. Then there hove in sight 
a small boy, and he shook like a jelly. Finally, 
like a star whose entrance has been worked 
up by the personnel of the ensemble, a gill 
appeared, and his emotion was painful to 
witness. His face got so red that, what 
with his white collar and the fact that the 
wind had turned his nose blue, he looked 
more like a French flag than anything else. 
He sagged from the waist upwards, as if 
he had been filleted. 

He was just raising his fingers limply 
to his cap when he suddenly saw that the 
girl wasn't alone. A chappie in clerical 
costume was also among those present, 
and the sight of him didn't seem to do 
Bingo a bit of good. His face got redder 
and his nose bluer, and it wasn't till they 
had nearly passed that he managed to get 
hold of his cap. 

The girl bowed, the curate said : " Ah 
Little. Rough weather, " the dog barked, 
and then they toddled on and the enter- 
tainment was over. 

THE curate was a new factor in the 
situation to me. I reported his 
movements to Jeeves when 1 got 
to the Hall. Of course, Jeeves knew 
all about it already. 

" That is the Reverend Mr. Wingham, 
Mr. Heppenstall's new curate, sir. I gather 
irom Brookfield that he is Mr. Little's rival 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



262 



The Metropolitan Touch 



and that at the moment the young lady 
appears to favour him. Mr. Wingham has 
the advantage of being on the premises. 
He and the young lady play duets after 
dinner, which acts as a bond. Mr. Little 
on these occasions, I understand, prowls 
about in the road, chafing visibly. " 

" That seems to be all the poor fish is 
able to do, dash it. He can chafe all 
right, but there he stops. He's lost his 
pep. He's got no dash. Why, when we 
met her just now, he hadn't even the 
common manly courage to say ' Good 
evening ' ! " 

" I gather that Mr. Little's affection is 
not unmingled with awe, sir." 

' Well, how are we to help a man when 
he s such a rabbit as that ? Have you any- 
thing to suggest ? I shall be seeing him 
after dinner, and he's sure to ask first thing 
what you advise." 

" In my opinion, sir, the most judicious 
course for Mr. Little to pursue would be 
to concentrate on the young gentleman." 

" The small brother ? How do you 
mean ? " 

" Make a friend of him, sir — take him 
for walks and so forth." 

" It doesn't sound one of your red-hottest 
ideas. I must say I expected something 
fruitier than that." 

" It would be a beginning, sir, and might 
lead to better things." 

" Well, I'll tell him. I liked the look of 
her, Jeeves." 

" A thoroughly estimable young lady, 
sir." 

I slipped Bingo the tip from the stable 
that night, and was glad to observe that 
it seemed to cheer him up. 

" Jeeves is always right," he said. " I 
ought to have thought of it myself. I'll 
start in to-morrow." 

It was amazing how the chappie bucked 
up. Long before I left for town it had become 
a mere commonplace for him to speak to 
the girl. I mean, he didn't simply look 
stuffed when they met. The brother was 
forming a bond that was a dashed sight 
stronger than the curate's duets. She and 
Bingo used to take him for walks together. 
I asked Bingo what they talked about on 
these occasions, and he said Wilfred's future. 
The girl hoped that Wilfred would one 
day become a curate, but Bingo Said no, 
there was something about curates he 
didn't quite like. 

The day we left, Bingo came to see us 
off with Wilfred frisking about him like an 
old college chum. The last I saw of them, 
Bingo was standing him chocolates out of 
the slot-machine. A scene of peace and 
cheery good-will. Dashed promising, I 
thought 



w 



HIGH made it all the more of a jar, 
about a fortnight later, when his 
telegram arrived. As follows : — 

Bertie old man I say Bertie could you 
possibly come down here at once. Every- 
thing gone wrong hang it all. Dash it 
Bertie you simply must come. I am in 
a state of absolute despair and heart-broken. 
Would you mind sending another hundred 
of those cigarettes. Bring Jeeves when you 
come Bertie. You simply must come Bertie. 
I rely on you. Don't forget to bring Jeeves. 
— Bingo. 

For a chap who's perpetually hard-up. 
I must say that young Bingo is the most 
wasteful telegraphist I ever struck. He's 
got no notion of condensing. The silly ass 
simply pours out his wounded soul at two- 
pence a word, or whatever it is, without a 
thought. 

" How about it, Jeeves ? " I said. "I'm 
getting a bit fed. I can't go chucking all 
my engagements every second week in order 
to biff down to Twing and rally round young 
Bingo. Send him a wire telling him to end 
it all in the village pond." 

" If you could spare me for the night, 
sir, I should be glad to run down and 
investigate." 

" Oh, dash it ! Well, I suppose there's 
nothing else to be done. After all, you're 
the fellow he wants. All right, carry on." 

Jeeves got back late the next day. 

" Well ? " I said. 

Jeeves appeared perturbed. He allowed 
his left eyebrow to flicker upwards in a 
concerned sort of manner. 

" I have done what I could, sir," he said, 
"but I fear Mr. Little's chances do not 
appear bright. Since our last visit, sir, 
there has been a decidedly sinister and 
disquieting development." 

" Oh, what's that ? " 

" You may remember Mr. Steggles, sir 
« — the young gentleman who was studying 
for an examination with Mr. Heppenstall 
at the Vicarage ? " 

Of course I remembered Steggles. You'll 
place him if you throw your mind back. 
Recollect the rat-faced chappie of sporting 
tastes who made the book on the Sermon 
Handicap and then made another on the 
Choir Boys' Sports ? That's the fellow. 
A blighter of infinite guile and up to every 
shady scheme on the list. Though, thanks to 
Jeeves, we had let him in pretty badly on 
the Girls' Egg-and-Spoon Race and collected 
a parcel off him in spite of his villainies. 

" What's Steggles got to do with it ? " 
I asked. 

" I gather from Brookfield, sir, who chanced 
to overhear a conversation, that Mr. Steggles 
is interesting himself in the affair." 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



P. G- Wodehouse 



263 



N Good Lord t What, making a book 00 
it ? " 

" 1 understand that he is accepting 
wagers from those in his immediate circle, 
sir. Against Mr. Little, whose chances he 
does not seem to fancy." 

" I dont like that, Jeeves." 

" No, sir. It is sinister/' 



interested in the hearty manner in which 
the lads were fortifying themselves ; and 
Mr. Steggles offered to back his nominee 
in a weight-forage eating contest against 
Master Burgess for a pound a side. Mi, 
Little admitted to me that he was conscious 
of a certain hesitation as to what the upshot 
might be, should Miss Burgess get to hear 
of the matter, but fus 
Sporting blood was too 
much for bim and he 
agreed to the contest. 
This was duly carried out, 
both lads exhibiting the 
utmost willingness and en- 
thusiasm, and eventually 
Master Burgess justified 
Mr. Little's confidence by 
winning, but only after a 
bitter struggle. Next day 
both contestants were in 
considerable pain ; in- 
quiries were made and con- 
fessions extorted, and Mr, 
Little — 1 learn from Brook- 
Keld, who happened to be 




14 From what 1 know ot Steggles there 
will be dirty work/' 

" It has already occurred, sir," 

" Already ? " 

" Yes, sir, It seems that, in pursuance oi 
the policy winch he had been good enough to 
allow me to suggest to him, Mr, Little 
escorted Master Burgess to the church 
bazaar, and there met Mr. Steggles, who 
was in the company of young Master Hep- 
penstall, the Reverend Mr. Heppenstall's 
second son, who is home from Rugby just 
now; having recently recovered irom an 
attack of mumps. The encounter took place 
in the refreshment -room, where Mr + Steggles 
was at that moment entertaining Master 
Heppenstall. To cut a long story short, 
sir, the two gentlemen became extremely 



The brother 
was forming a 
bond. She 
and Bingo 
used to take 
him for walks 

together gjr | a 1 frQm 



UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



264 



The Metropolitan Touch 



near the door of the drawing-roofti at the 
moment — had an extremely unpleasant 
interview with the young lady, which 
ended in her desiring him never to speak 
to her again." 

There's no getting away from the fact 
that, if ever a man required watching, it's 
Steggles. Machiavelli could have taken 
his correspondence course. 

" It was a put-up job, Jeeves ! " I said. 
" I mean, Steggles worked the whole 
thing on purpose. It's his old nobbling 
game." 

" There would seem to be no doubt about 
that, sir/' 

" Well, he seems to have dished poor old 
Bingo all right." 

" That is the prevalent opinion, sir. 
Brookfield tells me that down in the village 
at the Cow and Horses seven to one is being 
freely offered Mr. Wingham and finding 
no takers." 

" Good Lord ! Are they betting about it 
down in the village, too ? " 

" Yes, sir. And in adjoining hamlets also. 
The affair has caused widespread interest. 
I am told that there is a certain sporting 
reaction in even so distant a spot as Lower 
Bingley." 

" Well, I don't see what there is to do. 
If Bingo is such a chump " 

" One is lighting a losing battle, I fear, 
sir, but I did venture to indicate to Mr. 
Little a course of action which might prove 
of advantage. I recommended him to busy 
himself with good works." 

" Good works ? " 

" About the village, sir. Reading to the 
bedridden — chatting with the sick — that 
sort of thing, sir. We can but trust that 
good results will ensue." 

" Yes, I suppose so," I said, doubtfully. 
'« But, by gosh, if I was a sick man I'd 
hate to have a looney like young Bingo 
coming and gibbering at my bedside." 

" There ts that aspect of the matter, sir," 
said Jeeves. 

I DIDN'T hear a word from Bingo for 
a couple of weeks, and I took it after 
a while that he had found the going 
too hard and had chucked in the towel. 
And then, one night not long before Christ- 
mas, I came back to the flat pretty lateish, 
having been out dancing at the Embassy. 
I was fairly tired, having swung a practically 
non-stop shoe from shortly after dinner 
till two a.m., and bed seemed to be indicated. 
Judge of my chagrin and all that sort of 
thing, therefore, when, tottering to my 
room and switching on the light, I observed 
the foul features of young Bingo all over 
the pillow. The blighter had appeared from 
nowhere and was in my bed, sleeping like 



an infant with a sort of happy dreamy smiie 
on his map. 

A bit thick, I mean to say ! We Woosters 
are all for the good old mediaeval hosp. and 
all that, but when it comes to finding chappies 
collaring your bed, the thing becomes a 
trifle too mouldy. I hove a shoe, and Bingo 
sat up, gurgling. 

" 's matter ? 's matter ? " said young 
Bingo. 

t1 What the deuce are you doing in my 
bed ? " I said. 

" Oh, hallo, Bertie ! So there you are ! " 

" Yes, here I am. What are you doing in 
my bed ? " 

" I came up to town for the night on 
business." 

" Yes, but what are you doing in my 
bed ? " 

" Dash it all, Bertie," said young Bingo, 
querulously, " don't keep harping on your 
beastly bed. There's another made up in the 
spare room. I saw Jeeves make it with my 
own eyes. I believe he meant it for me, 
but I knew what a perfect host you were, 
so I just turned in here. I say, Bertie, old 
man," said Bingo, apparently fed up with 
the discussion about sleeping-quarters, " I 
see daylight." 

" Well, it's getting on for three in the 
morning." 

" I was speaking figuratively, you ass. 
I meant that hope has begun to dawn. About 
Mary Burgess, you know. Sit down and 
I'll tell you all about it." 

" I won't. I'm going to sleep." 

" To begin with," said young Bingo, 
settling himself comfortably against the 
pillows and helping himself to a cigarette 
from my special private box, " I must 
once again pay a marked tribute to good 
old Jeeves. A modern Solomon. I was badly 
up against it when I came to him for advice, 
but he rolled up with a tip which has put 
me — I use the term advisedly and in a 
conservative spirit— on velvet. He may 
have told you that he recommended me to 
win back the lost ground by busying myself 
with good works ? Bertie, old man," said 
young Bingo, earnestly, " for the last two 
weeks I've been comforting the sick to such 
an extent that, if I had a brother and you 
brought him to me on a sick-bed at this 
moment, by Jove, old man, I'd heave a 
brick at him. However, though it took it 
out of me like the deuce, the scheme worked 
splendidly. She softened visibly before I'd 
been at it a week. Started to bow again 
when we met in the street, and so forth. 
About a couple of days ago she distinctly 
smiled — in a sort of faint, saint-like kind 
of way, you know — when I ran into her 
outside the Vicarape. And yesterday — 

' 5ay [l f MRf^5ftf|cte.N C " rate Chap ' 



P. G. Wodehousc 



265 



Wingham ? Fellow with a long nose and 
a sort of goofy expression ? " 

" Of course I remember him. Your 
rival/' 

" Rival ? " Bingo raised his eyebrows. 
" Oh, well, I suppose you could have called 
him that at one time. Though it sounds 
a little far-fetched. " 

" Does it ? " I said, stung by the sickening 
complacency of the chump's manner. " Well, 
let me tell you that the last I heard was 
that at the Cow and Horses in Twing village 
and all over the place as far as Lower Bingley 
they were offering seven to one on the curate 
and finding no takers." 

Bingo started violently, and sprayed 
cigarette-ash all over my bed. 

" Betting ! " he gargled. " Betting ! 
You don't mean that they're betting on 
this holy, sacred— — Oh, I say, dash it all ! 
Haven't people any sense of decency and 
reverence ? Is nothing safe from their 
beastly, sordid graspingness ? I wonder/' 
said young Bingo, thoughtfully, " if there's a 
chance of my getting any of that seven-to-one 
money ? Seven to one 1 What a price ! 
Who's offering it, do you knew ? Oh, well, 
I suppose it wouldn't do. No, I suppose 
it wouldn't be quite the thing." 

" You seem dashed confident," I said. 
"I'd always thought that Wingham " 

" Oh, I'm not worried about him," said 
Bingo. " I was just going to tell you. Wing- 
ham's got the mumps, and won't be out 
and about for weeks. And, jolly as that is 
in itself, it's not all. You see, he was pro- 
ducing the Village School Christmas Enter- 
tainment, and now I've taken over the job. 
I went to old Heppenstall last night and 
clinched the contract. Well, you see what that 
means. It means that I shall be absolutely 
the centre of the village life and thought 
for three solid weeks, with a terrific triumph 
to wind up with. Everybody lex ki lg up 
to me and fawning on me, don't you see, 
and all that. It's bound to have a powerful 
effect on Mary's mind. It will show her 
that I am capable of serious effort ; that 
there is a solid foundation of worth in me ; 
that, mere butterfly as she may once have 

thought me, 1 am in reality " 

." Oh, all right, let it go ! " 

" It's a big thing, you know, this Chrif tmas 
Entertainment. Old Heppenstall very m ich 
wrapped up in it. Nibs from all over the 
countryside rolling up. The Squire present, 
with family. A big chance for me, Bertie, 
my boy, and I mean to make the most of 
it. Of course, I'm handicapped a bit by not 
having been in on the thing from the start. 
Will you credit it that that uninspired 
doughnut of a curate wanted to give the 
public some rotten little fairy play out of 
a book for children published about fifty 



years ago,* without one good laugh or the 
semblance of a gag in it ? It's too late to 
alter the thing entirely, but at least I can 
jazz it up. I'm going to write them in 
something zippy to brighten the thing up 
a bit." 

" You can't write." 

" Well, when I say write, I mean pinch. 
That's why I've popped up to town. I've 
been to see that revue, * Cuddle Up ! ' at 
the' Palladium, to-night. Full of good stuff. 
Of course, it's rather hard to get anything 
in the nature of a big spectacular effect 
in the Twing Village Hall, with no scenery 
to speak of and a chorus of practically 
imbecile kids of ages ranging from nine 
to fourteen, but I think I see my way. 
Have you seen ' Cuddle Up ' ? " 

" Yes. Twice." 

" Well, there's some good stuff in the first 
act, and I can lift practically all the numbers. 
Then there's that show at the Palace. I 
can see the matinee of that to-morrow 
before I leave. There's sure to be some 
decent bits in that. Don't you worry about 
my not being able to write a hit. Leave it 
to me, laddie, leave it to me. And now, 
my dear old chap," said young Bingo, 
snuggling down cosily, " you mustn't keep 
me up talking all night. It's all right for 
you fellows who have nothing to do, but 
I'm a busy man. Good night, old thing. 
Close the door quietly after you and switch 
out the light. Breakfast about ten to- 
morrow, I suppose, what ? Right-o. 
Good night." 

FR the next three weeks I didn't see 
Bingo. He became a sort of Voice 
Heard Off, developing a habit of 
ringing, me up on long-distance and 
consulting me on various points arising 
at rehearsal, until the day when he got 
me out of bed at eight in the morning to 
ask whether I thought " Merry Christ- 
mas ! " was a good title. I told him then 
that this nuisance must now cease, and 
after that he cheesed it, and practically 
passed out of my life till one afternoon 
when I got back to the flat to dress for 
dinner and found Jeeves inspecting a 
whacking big poster sort of thing which 
he had draped over the back of an arm- 
chair. 

" Good Lord, Jeeves ! " I said. I was 
feeling rather weak that day, and the 
thing shook me. " What on earth's 
that ? " 

" Mr. Little sent it to me, sir, and desired 
me to bring it to your notice." 

" Well, you've certainly done it ! " 

I took another look at the object. There 
was no doubt about it, it caught the eye. 
It was about seven* feet iong, and most of 

IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



266 



The Metropolitan Touch 



the lettering in about as bright red ink as 
I ever struck. 

" What do you make of it, Jeeves ? " I 
said. 

" I confess I am a little doubtful, sir. 
I think Mr. Little would have done better 
to follow my advice and confine himself 
to good works about the village." 

" You think the thing will be a frost ? " 

" I could not hazard a conjecture, sir. 
But my experience has been that what 
pleases the London public is not always 
so acceptable to the rural mind. The metro- 
politan touch sometimes proves a trifle too 
exotic for the provinces." 

" I suppose I ought to go down and see 
the dashed thing ? " 

" I think Mr. Little would be wounded 
were you not present, sir." 

THE Village Hall at Twing is a smallish 
building, smelling of apples. It was full 
when I turned up on the evening of the 
twenty-third, for I had purposely timed 
myself to arrive not long before the kick-off. 
I had had experience of one or two of these 
binges, and didn't want to run any risk of 
coming early and finding myself shoved 
into a seat in one of the front rows where 
I wouldn't be able to execute a quiet sneak 
into the open air half-way through the 
proceedings, if the occasion seemed to demand 
it. I secured a nice strategic position near 
the door at the back of the hall. 

From where I stood I had a good view of 
the audience. As always on these occasions, 
the first few rows were occupied by the 
Nibs — consisting of the Squire, a fairly 
mauve old sportsman with white whiskers, 
his family, a platoon of local parsons, and 
perhaps a couple of dozen of prominent 
pew-holders. Then came a dense squash 
of what you might call the lower middle 
classes. And at the back, where I was, 
we came down with a jerk in the social 
scale, this end of the hall being given up 
almost entirely to a collection of frankly 
Tough Eggs, who had rolled up not so much 
for any love of the drama as because there 
was a free tea after the show. Take it for 
all in all, a representative gathering of 
Twing life and thought. The Nibs were 
whispering in a pleased manner to each 
other, the Lower Middles were sitting up 
very straight as if they'd been bleached, 
and the Tough Eggs whiled away the time 
by cracking nuts and exchanging low rustic 
wheezes. The girl, Mary Burgess, was at 
the piano, playing a waltz. Beside her 
stood the curate, Wingham, apparently 
recovered. The temperature, I should think, 
was about a hundred and twenty-seven. 

Somebody jabbed me heartily in the lower 
ribs, and I perceived the man Steggles. 



" Hallo ! " he said. " I didn't know yc 
were coming down." 

I didn't like the chap, but we Wooste: 
can wear the mask. I beamed a bit. 

" Oh, yes," I said. " Bingo wanted n 
to roll up and see his show." 

" I hear he's giving us something pret 
ambitious," said the man Steggles. " B 
effects and all that sort of thing." 

" I believe so." 

" Of course, it means a lot to him, doesr 
it ? He's told you about the girl, 
course ? " 

" Yes. And I hear you're laying sev 
to one against him," I said, eyeing t 
blighter a trifle austerely. 

He didn't even quiver. 

" Just a little flutter to relieve the moi 
tony of country life," he said. " But you 
got the facts a bit wrong. It's down in 1 
village that they're laying seven to one. 
can do you better than that, if you feel ir 
speculative mood. How about a tenner a 
hundred to eight ? " 

II Good Lord ! Are you giving that ? " 
" Yes. Somehow," said Steggles, modi 

tively, " I have a sort of feeling, a kind 
premonition, that something's going to 
wrong to-night. You know what Little 
A bungler if ever there was one. Sometl 
tells me that this show of his is going tc 
a frost. And if it is, of course I should tl 
it would prejudice the girl against him pr< 
badly. His standing always was ra 
shaky." 

" Are you going to try and smash up 
show ? " I said, sternly. 

"Me!" said Steggles. "Why, \ 
could I do ? Half a minute, I want t< 
and speak to a man." 

He buzzed off, leaving me distir 
disturbed. I could see from the fell 
eye that he was meditating some of 
customary rough stuff, and I thought L 
ought to be warned. But there w 
time and I couldn't get at him. Al 
immediately after Steggles had left m< 
curtain went up. 

Except as a prompter, Bingo \* 
much in evidence in the early part o 
performance. The thing at the outset 
merely one of those weird dramas ^ 
you dig out of books published ai 
Christmas time and entitled " Twelve 
Plays for the Tots," or something like 
The kids drooled on in the usual m* 
the booming voice of Bingo ringin 
from time to time behind the scenes 
the fat-heads forgot their lines ; an 
audience was settling down into th 
of torpor usual on these occasions, win 
first of Bingo's interpolated bits occur r< 
was that number which What's-her 
sings in rhat revue at the Palace 

VERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



P. G. Wodehouse 



267 



would recognize the tune if I hummed it, 
but J never can get hold of the dashed thing. 
It always got three encores at the Palace, 
and it went well now, even with a squeaky- 
voiced child jumping on and off the key 
tike a chamois of the Alps leaping from 
crag to crag + Even the Tough Eggs liked 
it. At the end of the second refrain the 
entire house was shouting for an encore, 



spell, as you might put it. People started 
to shout directions, and the Tough Eggs 
stamped their feet and settled down fo^ 
a pleasant time. And, of course, young 
Bingo had to make an ass of himself, His 
voice suddenly shot at us out of the darkness, 

" Ladies and gentlemen, something has 
gone wrong with the lights *' 

The Tough Eggs were tickled by this 








' r «A* 



■**g 



\*r 




Good Lord, Jeeves!" 1 said, "WW on eaifch*s that?" 

Mr, Little sent it to me, sir. and desired me to bring it to your notice. 



and the kid with the voice like a slate- 
pebcil took a deep breath and started to 
let it go once more* 

At this point all the lights went out. 

I DON'T know when I've had anything 
so sudden and devastating happen to 
me before. They didn't flicker. They 
just went out, The hall was in complete 
darkness. 

Well, of course, that sort of broke the 



bit of information straight from the stable. 
They took it up as a sort of battle-cry. 
Then, after about five minutes, the lights 
went up again, and the show was resumed. 

It took ten minutes after that to get the 
audience back into its state of coma, but 
eventually they began to settle down, and 
everything was going nicely when a small 
boy with a face like a turbot edged out in 
front of the curtain, which had been lowered 
after a pretty [laiiifuL scene about a wishing- 

IYERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



*68 



The Metropolitan Touch 



ring or a fairy's curse or something of that 
eort, and started to sing that song of George 
Thingummy 's out of " Cuddle Up." You 
know the one I mean. " Always Listen to 
Mother, Girls ! " it's called, and he gets 
the audience to join in and sing the refrain. 
Quite a ripeish ballad, and one which I 
myself have frequently sung in my bath 
with not a little vim ; but by no means 
— as anyone but a perfect sapheaded prune 
like young Eingo would have known — by 
no means the scrt of thing for a children's 
Christmas entertainment in the old \illage 
hall. Right from the start of the first refrain 
the bulk of the audience had begun to 
stiffen in their seats and fan themselves, 
and the Burgess girl at the piano was accom- 
panying in a stunned, mechanical sort of 
way, while the curate at her side averted 
his gaze in a pained manner. The Tough 
Eggs, however, were all for it. 

At the end of the second refrain the kid 
stopped and began to sidle towards the wings. 
Upon which the following brief duologue 
took place : — 

Young Bingo (Voice heard off, tinging 
against the rafters) : " Go on ! " 

The Kid (Coyly) : " I don't like to." 

Young Bingo (Still louder) : "Go on, 
you little blighter, or I'll slay you ! " 

I suppose the kid thought it over swiftly 
and realized that Bingo, being in a position 
to get at him, had better be conciliated 
whatever the harvest might be ; for he 
shuffled down to the front and, having shut 
his eyes and giggled hysterically, said : 
" Ladies and gentlemen, I will now call 
upon Squire Tressidder to oblige by singing 
the refrain ! " 

You know, with the most charitable feel- 
ings towards him, there are moments when 
ycu can't help thinking that young Bingo 
ought to be in some sort of a home. I suppose, 
poor fish, he had pictured this as the big 
punch of the evening. He had imagined, 
I take it, that the Squire would spring 
jovially to his feet, rip the song off his chest, 
and all would be gaiety and mirth. Well, 
what happened was simply that old Tres- 
sidder — and, mark you, I'm not blaming 
him — just sat where he was, swelling and 
turning a brighter purple every second. 
The lower middle classes remained in frozen 
silence, waiting for the roof to fall. The 
only section of the audience that really 
seemed to enjoy the idea was the Tough 
Eggs, who yelled with enthusiasm. It was 
jam for the Tough Eggs. 

And then the lights went out again. 

WHEN they went up, some minutes 
later, they disclosed the Squire 
marching stiffly out at the head 
of his family, fed up to the eyebrows ; 



the Burgess girl at the piano with 
pale, set look ; and the curate gazing : 
her with something in his expression th 
seemed to suggest that, though all this w 
no doubt deplorable, he had spotted t 
silver lining. 

The show went on once more. There we 
great chunks of Plays-for-the-Tots dialogi 
and then the girl at the piano struck 
the prelude to that Orange-Girl numt 
that's the big hit of the Palace revue. 
took it that this was to be Bingo's smashi 
act one finale. The entire company was 
the stage, and a clutching hand had appeal 
round the edge of the curtain, ready to p 
at the right moment. It looked like 
finale all right. It wasn't long befon 
realized that it was something more, 
was the finish. 

I take it you know that Orange num 
at the Palace ? It goes — 

Oh, wont you something something or an 
My something oranges, 
My sotne thing oranges ; 

Oh, won't you something something sc 
thing I forget, 

Something something something ti 
tvmty yet : 

Oh 

or words to that effect. It's a dashed cl 
lyric, and the tune's good, too ; but 
thing that made the number was the busi 
where the girls take oranges out of 
baskets, you know, and toss them lig 
to the audience. I don't know if yc 
ever noticed it,* but it always seems to t 
an audience to bits when they get tl 
thrown at them from the stage. h 
time I've been to the Palace the custc 
have simply gone wild over this numbe 

But at the Palace, of course, the on 
are made of yellow wool and the girls 
so much chuck them as drop them li 
into the first and second rows. I beg; 
gather that the business was going i 
treated rather differently to-night, 
a dashed great chunk of pips and m 
sailed past my ear and burst on the 
behind me. Another landed with a sc 
on the neck of one of the Nibs in the 
row. And then a third took me right c 
tip of the nose, and I kind of lost in 
in the proceedings for awhile. 

When I had scrubbed my face an 
my eyes to stop watering for a mc 
I saw that the evening's entertainmei 
begun to resemble one of Belfast's 1 
nights. The air was thick with shriel 
fruit. The kids on the stage, with 
buzzing distractedly to and fro in 
midst, were having the time of theii 
I suppose they realized that this c< 
go ©ri^wri^ver, und were making th 

UNIVERSITYOF MICHIGAN 



P. G, Wodehouse 



269 









1 1 j 




The Tough Eggs had begun to pick up all the oranges thai hadn't burst and were 
shooting them back. 30 that the audience got it both coming and going. 



of their chances. The Tough Eggs had begun 
to pick up all the oranges that hadn't burst 
and were shooting them back, so that the 
audience got it both coming and going. 
In fact, take it all round, there was a certain 
amount of confusion ; and, just as things 
had begun really to hot up r out went the 
lights again. 



It seemed to me about my time for leaving, 
so I slid for the door, i was hardly outside 
when the audience began to stream out. 
They surged about me in twos and threes, 
and I've never seen a public body so dashed 
unanimous on any point. To a man — 
and to a woman — they were cursing poor 

M Bto fflrvM^ii»i?N ,irse ind 



270 



The Metropolitan Touch 



rapidly growing school of thought which 
held that the best thing to do would be to 
waylay him as he emerged and splash him 
about in the village pond a bit. 

There were such a dickens of a lot of these 
enthusiasts and they looked so jolly deter- 
mined that it seemed to me that the only 
matey thing to do was to go behind and warn 
young Bingo to turn his coat-collar up arid 
breeze off snakily by some side-exit. I went 
behind, and found him sitting on a box in 
the wings, perspiring pretty freely and 
looking more or less like the spot marked 
with a cross where the accident happened. 
His hair was standing up and his ears were 
hanging down, and one harsh word would 
undoubtedly have made him burst into tears. 

" Bertie/' he said hollowly, as he saw me, 
" it was that blighter Steggles ! I caught 
one of the kids before he could get away 
and got it all out of him. Steggles sub- 
stituted real oranges for the balls of wool 
which with infinite sweat and at a cost of 
nearly a quid I had specially prepared. 
Well, I will now proceed to tear him limb 
from limb. It'll be something to do." 

I hated to spoil his day-dreams, but 
it had to be. 

"Good heavens, man," I said, "you 
haven't time for frivolous amusements now. 
You've got to get out. And quick ! " 

" Bertie," said Bingo in a dull voice, 
" she was here just now. She said it was 
all my fault and that she would never 
speak to me again. She said she had 
always suspected me of being a heart- 
less practical joker, and now she knew. 

She said Oh, well, she ticked me off 

properly." 

" That's the least of your troubles," 
I said. It seemed impossible to rouse the 
poor zib to a sense of his position. " Do 
you realize that about two hundred of 
Twing's heftiest are waiting for you outside 
to chuck you into the pond ? " 

" No ! " 

" Absolutely ! " 

For a moment the poor chap seemed 
crushed. But only for a moment. There 
has always been something of the good old 
English bulldog breed about Bingo. A 
strange, sweet smile flickered for an instant 
over his face. 

" It's all right," he said. " I can sneak 
out through the cellar and climb over the 
wall at the back. They can't intimidate me ! " 



IT couldn't have been more than a week 
later when Jeeves, after he had brought 
me my tea, gently steered me away 
from the sporting page of the Morning 
Post and directed my attention to an 
announcement in the engagements and 
marriages column. 

It was a brief statement that a marriage 
had been arranged and would shortly 
take place between the Hon. and Rev. 
Hubert Wingham, third son of the Right 
Hon. the Earl of Sturridge, and Mary, 
only daughter of the late Matthew Burgess, 
of Weatherly Court, Hants. 

" Of course," I said, after I had given 
it the east-to-west, " I expected this, Jeeves." 

*" Yes, sir." 

" She would never forgive him what 
happened that night." 

" No, sir." 

" Well," I said, as I took a sip of the 
fragrant and steaming, " I don't suppose 
it will take old Bingo long to get over it. 
It's about the hundred and eleventh time 
this sort of thing has happened to him. 
You're the man I'm sorry for." 

" Me, sir ? " 

" Well, dash it all, you can't have for- 
gotten what a deuce of a lot of trouble you 
took to bring the thing off for Bingo. It's 
too bad that all your work should have been 
wasted." 

" Not entirely wasted, sir." 

" Eh ? " 

" It is true that my efforts to bring about 
the match between Mr. Little and the young 
lady were not successful, but still I look 
back upon the matter with a certain satis- 
faction." 

" Because you did your best, you mean ? " 

" Not entirely, sir, though of course 
that thought also gives me pleasure. I was 
alluding more particularly to the fact 
that I found the affair financially remu- 
nerative." 

" Financially remunerative ? What do 
you mean ? " 

" When I learned that Mr. Steggles had 
interested himself in the contest, sir, 1 went 
shares with my friend Brookfield and bought 
the book which had been made on the issue 
by the landlord of the Cow and Horses. It 
has proved a highly profitable investment. 
Your breakfast will be ready almost immedi- 
ately, sir. Kidneys on toast and mushrooms, 
I will bring it when you ring." 



Next month: "The Delayed Exit of Claude and Eustace. 



by Google 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



2ji 




GAME 



L 



NO curfew 
tolled the 
knell of 
par t i n g 
day ; nor did any- 
lowing herd wind 
slowly o K er the lea, 
But the advance 
p a r t i e s of flying 
foxes stringing out 
across the sky, 
slowly flapping their 
leathery wings as 
they "zoomed" over 
the mango trees of 
the Bagh on their 
nightly foray to the 
fruit gardens on 
the other side of the 
river, announced as 
clearly as any bell 
the approaching close 
of another long, long 
Indian day. 

In front of the 
Gymkhana club- 
house sat a few ladies 
talking listlessly and 
discussing tea or ices. 
They were inactive. 
But all round were sights and sounds which 
showed that the British male cannot take his 
ease or enjoy relaxation after his daily toil 
without the assistance of a spherical body 
of some sort, whether it be hollow or solid, 
or of indi a rubber, box wood h ivory, bamboo^ 
root, or of string sewn up in kid. From the 
hard tennis courts — there were no such 
things as grass courts — came the pat of the 
balls and the voices of the players scoring ; 
from the croquet ground came the bang of 
wood against wood ; from inside the club- 
house the click of the billiard and pool 
tables ; from the nearer polo ground the 
thud of hoofs on hard soil, and from that 
farther off the same sound reduced to a 
mere drumming ; while from the roofless 
rectangular mass of brickwork behind one 
end of the club echoed the shrill cries of a 
racquet marker calling the game, the smack 
of the ball, and an occasional loud report as 
the wood skirting received a hard drive. 

The searing hot wind which had been 
blowing all day had now dropped t and there 

Digitized by tiOOgJC 



nd 




OLE LUK-OIE 

(Author of " The Grttn Curat, tic) 



ILLrUSTRATEn BY 



The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes, 
But Right or Left as; strikes the Player goes ; 
And He that toss'd you down into the Field, 
He knows about it all— -HE knows — HE knows \ 

—He Ruhdiydt 



one 



was not sufficient 
breeze to disperse 
the straight ascend- 
ing cheroot smoke of 
the two men clad in 
flannels w h o were 
seated outside the 
racquet courts, wait- 
ing theiT turn for 
another game and 
idly watching the 
distant polo through 
the dust haze, 

They sat for a few 
minutes silent, smok- 
ing and sweating, 
especially sweating. 
A hard single at 
racquets is no gentle 
exercise. When 
played within four 
walls whose dull 
black surface has 
been drinking in the 
heat of the tropical 
sun for t hours, only 
to radiate and give 
it out when the sun 
itself goes down, the 
players can verily be 
said to lard the lean 
spoke ; i( Who's in 



earth. At last 
No, 3 Court ? JJ 

" Rayce and Leslie Jerome. 1 ' 

" I can't make out why young Jerome is 
such pals with Rayce. He's a rotter/* 

" He's not so bad really, if he didn't lift 
his elbow quite so much and always play to 
win. But I must say he was the limit last 
Wednesday. Were you here ? ,r 

" No ; 1 was at polo," 

" But haven't you heard what an infernal 
ass he made of himself ? " 

"No/' 

" I should have thought it had gone the 
round of the station by now. We were 
playing a four — me, Rayce, Tom kins, I think 
it was, and the Colonel/' 

" What, Foxy Grandpa ? " 

" No, no, Tom kins p s Colonel, old Tomato, 
I was playing with him + We had had a jolly 
tight game and had got to one sett all and 
were leading in the third and Rayce was in. 
Rayce had been rather ratty the whole game. 
He served a fault, and then old Ghafoor, 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



1 



: 7 2 



Game and Sett 



who was marking, called his second a fault. 
I thought he was right, but it was a very fast 
ball near the line and difficult to judge. I 
don't know if Rayce, who'd put up a run of 
six, was. just riled at serving himself out 
or really thought it was a wrong call, but 
he turns round, curses Ghafoor for not 
keeping his eyes open, then walks up to the 
end wall, where there were dozens of used 
balls, and whangs one slap at him as hard as 
he can — and you know how he can hit. 
Luckily he misses by a few inches, and the 
surprised Ghafoor, who wasn't taking any 
chances, gently fades backwards on to the 
floor of the gallery. Rayce was too angry 
to see this, and without saying any more 
continues to let fly at the corner of the 
gallery like a bally machine-gun. It was 
funny. As soon as Ghafoor hears a ball hit 
the angle or whiz safely overhead into the 
gallery, he pops up his silly old face like a 
Jack-in-the-Box and begins to whine out : 
* Ghareeb parwar — mera khasoor ' — and the 
usual song, when — ' Ping,' up comes another 
hot one, and down goes his head. Of course, 
all the balls that didn't chase each other 
round the gallery seats or biff out into the 
middle of the polo ground came back round 
the angle like lightning. Rayce was too 
angry or too muzzy to notice them or to 
dodge, and when one catches him a fair 
dinger on the brisket he only gets madder 
than ever. At first, when we saw that 
Ghafoor was in no danger, we others thought 
it rather a joke. But when the ass went on, 
and there were about three balls in the air 
at once, all travelling about a hundred 
miles per hour, it got a bit thick." 

" How priceless ! " 

" M'yes ! Anyway, it was too much for 
our money. First we cursed the fool and 
told him to chuck it. Then we threw 
ourselves spread-eagled on our bellies, with 
our racquets over our heads." 

" Old Tomato as well ? " chuckled the 
other. 

" Rather. He was the first to play 
spatchcock. It was ' Ping ' from Rayce 's 
racquet, 'B-r-r-r," Smack,' 'Smack,' 'Smack/ 
on the walls, and then a treble-barrelled 
volley of oaths ; from three mouths just 
raised off the floor, before the next shot. 
Finally the Tomato, almost apoplectic, puts 
up his old purple phiz behind his racquet 
and roars out in his best brigade drill voice : 
' Mr. Rayce, if you don't stop this infernal 
nonsense at once, sir, I'll put you under 
arrest.' By then Rayce, who'd got close 
to the end wall without noticing it, smashes 
his racquet slap in half and throws the bits 
at the place where Ghafoor no longer was. 
When the * Cease Fire ' sounds, up spring 
Jerome and me smartly to attention, and 
the Tomato scrambles to his knees, all £>lack 



as sweeps from the muck on the floor. 
' What the devil do you mean, sir ? ' starts 
off the old boy, and didn't he dress Rayce 
down to rights neither ? That sportsman, if 
you please, tried to bluff it out ; insisted on 
finishing the sett ; said he was winning and 
wanted to bet on the result ! The Tomato 
naturally not only refused to go on, but said 
he'd never play with Rayce again, and would 
report the whole matter to his CO. And 
he was jolly well right, I say." 

" Yes, but what had bitten Rayce ? 
He's usually a pretty cool card, a bit too 
cool, I've always found." 

" I don't know if it's the heat or the other 
thing, but he has been looking very bulgy 
about the collar lately. I think he's also 
had a bad month at cards. It's a pity, be- 
cause if he would only take a pull at himself 
he'd be all right. He's a jolly good all- 
round man." 

" Yes. God's given him a straight eye 
and a quick wrist. But a man ain't a sports- 
man simply because he's good at games ; 
and I have no use for Rayce. I don't know 
anything about his birth ; but he's one of 
Nature's cads, and his charm and savoir faire 
make him all the more dangerous — showy 
bounder. It's a pity that young Leslie 
Jerome's so thick with him." 

" Oh, I dunno. I think you're a bit hard 
on him. I'm rather sorry for the poor devil. 
I kind of suspect he's up against it in more 
ways than one. Anyway, he's not entirely 
the scheming bad man of the play. He does 
give himself away sometimes." 

" His uncontrollable brandy temper gives 
him away, as in the case you've just been 
telling me about, and then the hairy heel 
comes out. Fancy plugging old Ghafoor ! 
There's Mummie's real little gentleman for 
you ! He's got cad stamped all over him in 
plush letters a foot high. Thank God he's 
not in my regiment. It ain't for nothing 
they call him ' Honest Henry ' in his own, 
my boy. Dam'/im, anyway. It's gettin' 
dark pretty quick. Any use waiting for 
another game ? " 

" Yes. I thought I heard ' game ball ' 
called in No. 3, so they may be near the end. 
Let's wait a bit. There's still light." 

He was correct. In No. 3 Court the native 
squatting on the parapet at the corner ol 
the gallery, bag of balls at his side, little 
scoring board in his hand, had just called 
" game ball." Leslie Jerome and Henry Rayce 
were playing a single ; it was fourteen-ten 
in Jerome's favour, the games standing at 
one all. Jerome, a slight, pleasant-faced, 
freckled youth with light hair, was a good 
player. His opponent, some five or six 
years his senior, was a bulkier man and in 
a fleshy way good-looking, with dark crisp 
hair and blue eyes. He was powerfully 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Ole Luk-Oie 



273 




Firil we cursed the fool and told him to chuck it. Then we threw ourselves spread- 
eagled on our bellies, with our racquet: over cur Kcjds. 

Vu, ' Uiv - "• UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



i 



274 



Game and Sett 



huilt, especially about the neck and shoulders. 
At the moment the expression on his face, 
now purple with exertion, was distinctly 
unpleasant, for he was losing. He did not 
like being beaten at anything, and owing to 
his skill and generally cool temperament 
rarely was. 

The youngster was "in." He served one 
of his best, hoping to finish the game. But 
he was a little over-anxious and hit too 
straight, and the ball came back down the 
middle of the court. Rayce saw his chance 
and took it. He volleyed the service low 
and hard in an absolutely untakeable 
return. 

" Ten-FourTeen," sang out the marker. 

Rayce had a glint in his eye as he went 
across to the right-hand serving box, holding 
up his hand for a new ball. He bounced it, 
found it too soft, and threw it away. After 
trying two more he was satisfied. He then 
served, and the rasping twang of the catgut 
told of the vicious cut, put into the stroke. 

" Perlay," cried the voice from the gallery. 

The serve was a beauty which, hard as 
it was, hugged the walls and left Jerome 
guessing. 

" Elleven-FourTeen," echoed from above. 

With three more equally unplayable serves 
which almost split the ball the score mounted 
up ; and the voice on high, vibrant as that 
of a muezzin from a minaret, rang out : 
" Perlay "— " Terweluv-FourTeen." ''Per- 
lay ' '— ' ' ThatTeen-FourTeen . " " Perlay ' '— 
" FourTeen Arl. Game Ball Arl. Sahib 
e'sett ? " 

" Anyone waiting ? " asked Jerome. 

" Assuredly ; two sahibs are without." 

" Sudden death, then/' 

From the left-hand serving box, " Honest 
Henry," perhaps to give his opponent a 
chance, perhaps to set a trap, knowing that 
he had him rattled, deliberately served a 
" donkey drop " down the middle. Jerome 
took the bait, ran forward, and tried to kill 
it, but hit too low ; and the game ended 
with a deafening report on the wood. 

" Damn ! " said Leslie Jerome. 

" Game and e'sett," called the impassive 
voice of Fate. 

THE two dripping figures passed out of 
the four-walled oven, and sank into the 
chairs vacated by the waiting pair, who 
had got up on hearing the game called. 

" Peg ? " suddenly remarked Jerome. 
" Sun's about down." 

" Thanks," said the other, who did not 
attach much importance to the altitude of 
the sun when it was a matter of drinks. 
" Gave you a sportin' chance with my 
last." 

" Yes, I know." was the slightly disgusted 
reply. " I took the bait all right ; but 



you'd got me rattled and, of course, I foozled. 
Thought I'd got you beat. You made a 
splendid recovery with that service of yours ; 
couldn't get near it ; don't know how you 
get so much cut on. It's enough to pull the 
skin off the ball." 

" M'yes, it seems to bally well pull the 
guts out of my racquets. I wonder what 
my bill is going to be this month ? Ghafoor 
is no earthly at re-stringing, and AH is a 
perfect coolie. Once a racquet goes it's 
done. And they're fifteen dibs a time now. 
Yes, I knew you thought it was all over but 
the shouting," he chuckled — " but, as I've 
often told you, a game is never lost till it's 

won. ' Game and ' is the only thing 

that counts." 

" Yes, I know," was the rueful reply. 
" When it's ' game ball,' or ninety-nine in a 
hundred up, against you, up goes your tail 
and you make a special effort. It's no good 
trying to rattle you, 'Onest 'Enry, you only 
produce some more trumps. But still, I 

don't agree about ' Game and ' being 

the only thing that matters. If the match 
is a good hard one I like it, whoever wins. 
But push down your drink and come and 
change. I want to poodle -fake for a bit. 
Don't you hear the band a-callin' ? " 

" Right-o. The mosquitoes have chewed 
the pattern of the seat of this chair on me 
by now." The tone was one of indifference. 
At heart the speaker was the reverse of 
indifferent. He had been itching to get 
away, but did not want to show it, and did 
not dare propose it for fear of giving away 
his motive. Jerome, however, was totally 
unsuspicious of Rayce 's hidden desire or of 
the existence of the motive. 

" By the way," continued Rayce, as both 
strolled towards the dressing-rooms, " about 
to-morrow ; playing polo ? " 

" Yes, on the Gunners' ground." 

" I'm playing here. What about having 
a swim afterwards at the Civil Club, and a 
bite of dinner together ? " 

" Good eggr 

" Well, I'll pick you up here and drive 
you down and back. No ; we'll go straight 
down as we are and dress after bathing. 
I'll collect you at your ground. Is that a 
deal ? We'd better fix it now, as I don't 
suppose I shall see you again this evening." 

The tone of the last sentence was again 
quite casual, but if the supposition of the 
speaker were correct there was something 
in what he said which might convey a 
hidden meaning to the listener, and possibly 
provoke a reply and the disclosure which the 
speaker sought. However, if it had really 
been Rayce 's intention to draw his friend 
he was disappointed. 

"Right," said Jerome; "meet me at the 

Gu "ii«ofito kit down to 



Ole Luk-Oie 



275 



the club." He turned his head away 
slightly as he spoke. He felt for some 
reason annoyed. He also realized that he 
was blushing. 

II. 

THERE is a cause for everything. 
There was the usual cause for Rayce 's 
suggestion that he was probably seeing 
Jerome for the last time that evening ; and, 
unknown to either, she was actually walking 
past the front of the club-house on her way 
to her father's barouche, with its pair of 
fat Walers, just as the two men entered the 
dressing-rooms at the back. Patty Graham 
was one of the not very numerous band of 
ladies out of all the cold -weather crowd of 
femininity which had not flown to the Hills 
with the general exodus at the end of April. 
She had insisted on staying down through 
the heat to look after her old father, the 
Civil Commissioner, whom, after many 
years' separation, she had come out to join 
the previous autumn. He was a widower, 
now nearing the time of retirement and 
pension. 

Of the many swains at her feet it was 
not possible to point to any one specially 
favoured. Nor amongst half-a-dozen was it 
easy to name the man who was outwardly 
and visibly most devoted. But at heart no 
one was more her slave than Leslie Jerome, 
though he had not yet given open expression 
to his passion, having so far, owing to shyness 
and natural diffidence, refrained from speak- 
ing the word. He nevertheless intended to 
put his fate to the test shortly, for he realized 
that there were others who might have the 
same intention as himself, and that if he 
wished to win he would have to speak soon. 
About his infatuation there is nothing to be 
said. It was natural, open, and without 
ulterior motive. 

But in spite of his realization of the 
existence of competitors, one thing he did 
not even dream was that his blast friend, 
Rayce, had entered the lists against him. 
As a matter of fact it was only recently 
that the latter had fallen a victim, much to 
his own surprise. To the type to which he 
belonged, the art, or knack, of pleasing the 
opposite sex comes natural. And from his 
previous experiences Rayce had no reason 
to doubt his powers of fascination when he 
chose to exercise them. His tastes, however, 
lay really in the direction of more sophisti- 
cated fair ones of greater knowledge and 
riper charms than Patty Graham ; and 
though her youthful freshness had at first 
appealed to him, it had been more in the 
way of admiration for a charming child than 
any stronger sentiment. Gradually, how- 
ever, she had begun to exercise a certain 
mtriguing attraction for him. He found 



himself unconsciously trying to ingratiate 
himself with her, to attract her favourable 
notice. Being what he was, he was even 
guilty of " showing off." But the friendly 
aloofness with which his half-veiled, easily 
assumed gallantry had been received at first 
surprised and then piqued him. He found 
himself thinking a great deal of this slip of a 
girl ; and the more calmly unconscious of 
his attentions she was the more desirable did 
she seem, and the more did she occupy his 
thoughts. 

His feelings and motives were perforce 
more subtle and complex than those of his 
friend and unconscious rival. Since he had 
realized what an attraction the damsel he 
had at first called " a nice little filly " had 
begun to exercise over him, he had set 
himself to " appreciate the situation " in all 
its bearings, even to contemplate the prospect 
of marriage. He was a thoroughly selfish 
man and there were many considerations. 
Possessing small means, he was cursed with 
expensive tastes, but had always managed 
to "do himself well," one of his favourite 
sayings being that for him the best, or 
" a little bit off the top," was good enough. 
His good looks, his address and skill at games 
had all helped him in an environment where 
externals count a good deal. Always ex- 
travagant and always a gambler, his last 
racing season had been disastrous, and for 
some time the moneylenders had been 
extremely troublesome. Being in a popular 
regiment, with the consequent slow promo- 
tion, his captaincy was still in the distant 
future. 

Now, old man Graham was one of the 
" Heaven-born." He had served uncounted 
years in India, during which he had held a 
succession of fat, well-paid posts. He was 
a widower with one child, and having simple 
tastes and an economical nature must have 
put away a considerable amount of money ; 
not much, perhaps, as money goes, but still 
a tidy little sum. When Rayce began to 
work things out on cold business lines, 
everything pointed to the fact that marriage 
with Patty was the solution of all his troubles. 
It was obvious. So soon, therefore, as he 
had come to this conclusion and found that 
the girl was by no means the easy conquest 
that he had at first anticipated, he had, 
again like a good soldier, altered his tactics 
and added to his frontal attacks on the lady 
herself a flank approach through the father. 
And not for a long time had the Civil Com- 
missioner received so much deferential per- 
sonal courtesy from a member of the garrison. 
But, gratifying as this attention was, Mr. 
Graham did not like Rayce in spite, or 
perhaps because, of his politeness, and he 
partly appreciated his motives. But he said 
nothing. Patty did not show any signs of 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



276 



Game and Sett 



succumbing to the advances of this dasher; 
and there was no need to speak. So to 
Rayce the flank approach appeared to be 
progressing favourably. 

BUT Life is full of snags, and there was 
another obstacle in the way of Rayce \s 
success. Jerome, who was not of a secre- 
1 ive nature, had for months past unbosomed 
himself to his friend in regard to his feelings 
for Patty. Rayce had listened to his rhap- 
sodies at first with good-natured amusement, 
then with hardly concealed boredom. But 
recently, because of his own feelings, he had 
forced himself to show warmer sympathy. 
He had guessed that Jerome intended very 
shortly to take his courage in both hands and 
settle his fate, and somehow his advice all 
tended in the direction of the necessity for 
caution, and of the inadvisability of " rushing 
fences," since a girl of Patty Graham's 
disposition could not be rushed. And his 
Sage counsel had been accepted by the 
inexperienced youngster. But this pose 
made it all the more difficult for Rayce too 
openly to pay court himself to the girl. 

Provided 1 there was not already an under- 
standing between her and Jerome, and he 
practically knew that matters had not gone 
so far, he felt sufficient confidence in himself 
to imagine that if he could get a chance to 
bring all his broadside into play he could, 
so to speak, cut out the prize from under his 
rival's guns. To come up with a rush at 
the end when all was nearly lost was, as he 
often boasted, a game he liked to play. To 
the ethics of deceiving his pal in such a 
matter he attached no importance. Was 
not all fair in love and war ? If Jerome was 
such a fool as to allow himself to be cut out by 
someone more enterprising, it was his own 
funeral. Nevertheless, dilatory as Jerome 
was, he had apparently at last made up his 
mind to act. So had Rayce. This explained 
the latter's eagerness to get away after 
his game of racquets. He hoped to meet 
Patty Graham before Jerome or anyone 
else and to have an hour's walk and talk 
with her. An hour was a long time for a 
man who knew what he wanted and was 
not too shy to ask for it, or too modest to 
press his claims. 

But Rayce's luck was out. In India much 
time is of necessity taken up in ablutions 
and the changing of garments, which duties 
form some of the few pleasures of life. And 
their punctual performance depends so 
much on the co-operation of others. As a 
matter of fact, on this special evening the two 
subalterns had decided to change rather 
earlier than usual. Jerome's servant had 
by chance turned up unnecessarily soon 
and was awaiting his master, who proceeded 
to tub and dress at once. Rayce 's had not 



arrived, and Rayce had the pleasure of 
waiting whilst his rival got ahead of him. 
After fuming about for five minutes and 
cursing his absent bearer, who was not to 
blame, he made a false s